Dual boot El Capitan/Sierra same documents/desktop folders : how to?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Banan911, Apr 30, 2017.

  1. Banan911, Apr 30, 2017
    Last edited: May 1, 2017

    Banan911 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    Location:
    Aarhus, Denmark
    #1
    For various reasons I have a dual boot setup with El Capitan and Sierra. Is it possible to have the two OS installations share the documents and desktop folders? I've already made shortcuts (symbolic links) in both OS installations, but it is not the most elegant solution :) I would like the Sierra installations desktop and documents folder to be the ones that are used in El Capitan as well. So when I boot El Capitan, I see the same files and folders on my desktop as in Sierra.

    I imagine that I have to do some tricks in Terminal right?
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    I have my own way, and it's not for everyone.

    For decades, I have kept my DATA files on a separate volume from my OS files.
    That is to say, I have a separate partition that "holds all my work" (excluding email). Most files of importance, and nearly all archived material resides on this volume.

    I have separate "boot volumes" for the different versions of the Mac OS that I use.
    NO DATA resides on these, with a few exceptions:
    - Email (I keep all important emails with one version of the OS)

    I also maintain wholly separate volumes for things like music, and another volume for "media" (pictures, etc.).

    This way, I can boot from ANY version of the OS I choose -- and all my "accessed data" will ALWAYS remain "in the same place", because it's not associated with ANY copy of the OS in particular.

    How my setup appears on the desktop (each a volume with its own icon):
    - Boot (OS and accounts, but very little -in- those accounts)
    - Main (all my work files and archives)
    - Music
    - Media
    - General (copies of apps, movies, other stuff)

    FIVE volume icons instead of one.
    Most Mac users couldn't deal with it.
    But I know and remember where everything is.

    That's how I do it - no "sharing" of desktop/document folders involved.
     
  3. Banan911 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    Location:
    Aarhus, Denmark
    #3
    Nice that this works well for you, but it's not really what I'm looking for.

    I just want a single Documents and Desktop folder for both OS installations. How do I achieve that?
     
  4. Banan911 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    Location:
    Aarhus, Denmark
    #4
    Isn't there anyone who can help me with this one? I googled something about hardlinks. Is that the way to go?
     
  5. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #5
    You need the account user folders on the Sierra account to sync automatically with the corresponding El Capitan account user folders. Frankly, I've never seen this done and don't know if it's possible. I'm not sure if there's a commercial folder syncing app that can handle this. If there is, you might have to pay for it twice as it would have to be running on two installations.
     
  6. Banan911 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    Location:
    Aarhus, Denmark
    #6
    Hmm I don't need the entire home folder to be the same on both installations. What I would like is for El Capitan to use the same documents and desktop folder as the Sierra installation. I thought it would be easy to fix in terminal, but maybe it isn't so easy after all?
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    RE:
    "What I would like is for El Capitan to use the same documents and desktop folder as the Sierra installation. I thought it would be easy to fix in terminal, but maybe it isn't so easy after all?"

    Perhaps after trying this you will understand why I do this the way I explained in post 2 above...
     

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