Home Folder on Seperate Partition

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Original poster
Jan 6, 2004
19,239
4
ok so i have a 160 gig fw drive that i boot from

i have one partition set to 50 gigs the other partition is the remaining space which is about 102 gigs

i want my home folder on the larger partition, how do i set this up? i wasnt able to find info anywhere about this, thanx in advance
 

wrldwzrd89

macrumors G5
Jun 6, 2003
12,106
75
Solon, OH
This isn't very easy to do. You can't do this when you're logged in to your primary account - you'll need to create a temporary administrator account to do this; you can delete the temporary account afterward. Once you're logged into the temporary account, open the Terminal.

First, copy your current home folder to the new location:

Code:
sudo cp /Users/(your user name) (destination)
Replace (your user name) with the short user name of your primary account and (destination) with the destination. The destination will be of the form:
Code:
/Volumes/(external HD name)/(subdirectory)
where (external HD name) and (subdirectory) are placeholders.

Second, delete your old user folder:

Code:
sudo rm -r /Users/(your user name)
Third, create a symbolic link that connects the old user folder to the new user folder:

Code:
sudo ln -s /Users/(your user name) (destination)
Fourth, verify that the symbolic link works as intended:

Code:
cd /Users/(your user name)
pwd
The destination directory should display after you execute the pwd command. If it doesn't, or you got an error when you tried the ln command, reverse the order of the directories:
Code:
sudo ln -s (destination) /Users/(your user name)
and repeat this step.

Finally, close the Terminal, log out of the temporary account and log in to your primary account. Check if everything works as expected.
 

yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
16,033
1
Portland, OR
Ooops, I now see that in your original post, glossed over it when I originally "read" it. You won't have a problem. Sorry!
 

grapes911

Moderator emeritus
Jul 28, 2003
6,995
3
Citizens Bank Park
I'm not infront of my Mac, so I don't know for sure, but I was thinking that the NetInfo Manager in the Utilities may help this. Open it up and go to users then your user name. At the bottom, there may be a property named home or home directory. If so, you should just be able to copy your home to where ever you want it and then change this property to the new location.
 

snickelfritz

macrumors 65816
Oct 24, 2003
1,109
0
Tucson AZ
Mapping the home folder to second drive on a separate controller(as opposed to a slaved IDE drive or partition on the boot drive) will actually yield higher overall system performance.
This is due to the fact that your system will now be able to read/write to system and user directories simultaneously.

Here's a detailed explanation of the process, copied from macgurus forum:
macgurus forum - relocating users directory
 

AliensAreFuzzy

macrumors 68000
May 30, 2004
1,561
0
Madison, WI
PlaceofDis said:
ok so i have a 160 gig fw drive that i boot from

i have one partition set to 50 gigs the other partition is the remaining space which is about 102 gigs

i want my home folder on the larger partition, how do i set this up? i wasnt able to find info anywhere about this, thanx in advance
This is kinda off topic, but how do you set up an external drive to be the boot drive?
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Original poster
Jan 6, 2004
19,239
4
AliensAreFuzzy said:
This is kinda off topic, but how do you set up an external drive to be the boot drive?
once you use Carbon Copy Cloner or install OS X on the drive you can either set it up with the install cd or go to system prefs>startup disk
from there you can choose which install of OS X you want to boot from
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
2
Damn. Seems more trouble than it is worth. I think I'll just upgrade my boot up HD to the largest HD I can afford. Apple has to make this easier for the end user.
 

AliensAreFuzzy

macrumors 68000
May 30, 2004
1,561
0
Madison, WI
Lacero said:
Damn. Seems more trouble than it is worth. I think I'll just upgrade my boot up HD to the largest HD I can afford. Apple has to make this easier for the end user.
Well, I've got a 7200RPM external drive and it isn't really any trouble.
 

broken_keyboard

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2004
1,144
0
Secret Moon base
I have my home dir on a separate drive. It's really easy, there's no need to create filesystem links of any such thing. There is a field in NetInfo manager which is the path to your home dir. Just change the path and then copy your dir to the new location.

You won't be able to delete your current home dir until after you reboot.
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Original poster
Jan 6, 2004
19,239
4
broken_keyboard said:
I have my home dir on a separate drive. It's really easy, there's no need to create filesystem links of any such thing. There is a field in NetInfo manager which is the path to your home dir. Just change the path and then copy your dir to the new location.

You won't be able to delete your current home dir until after you reboot.
i know that will work for another drive, but doesnt it read Partitions differently?
 

broken_keyboard

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2004
1,144
0
Secret Moon base
PlaceofDis said:
i know that will work for another drive, but doesnt it read Partitions differently?
Well, it's just a path you put in the netinfo, so as long as your partition is mounted somewhere in the directory tree, it should work. Though admittedly I am using a completely separate drive.
 

JFreak

macrumors 68040
Jul 11, 2003
3,146
0
Tampere, Finland
while the symbolic link should surely work, it's not really UNIX-like elegant solution to this problem. just think about it: you want "mount that another partition to appear as home folder", so instead of linking anything, you could just have that another partition to be called "/Users" for example. and then, every time you access anything /Users/whatever the system will use the partition that has been mounted to /Users

you need to modify /etc/fstab file (in command line interface, using a text editor, pico for example) that tells the operating system what drives to mount and where.
 

EasyB

macrumors member
Jan 29, 2005
96
0
So this should work?

broken_keyboard said:
I have my home dir on a separate drive. It's really easy, there's no need to create filesystem links of any such thing. There is a field in NetInfo manager which is the path to your home dir. Just change the path and then copy your dir to the new location.

You won't be able to delete your current home dir until after you reboot.

So this should work as a temporary solution to my problem.

1-Copy my user file off of my powerbook to a FW drive
2-Send my PB in for repair
3-Add a new user on my friends mac
4-go into NetInfo Manager and redirect my location to my FW Drive
5-When PB gets back, copy user folder back to PB.

Will that work?
 

wrldwzrd89

macrumors G5
Jun 6, 2003
12,106
75
Solon, OH
JFreak said:
while the symbolic link should surely work, it's not really UNIX-like elegant solution to this problem. just think about it: you want "mount that another partition to appear as home folder", so instead of linking anything, you could just have that another partition to be called "/Users" for example. and then, every time you access anything /Users/whatever the system will use the partition that has been mounted to /Users

you need to modify /etc/fstab file (in command line interface, using a text editor, pico for example) that tells the operating system what drives to mount and where.
That may be the elegant UNIX solution, but I have had nothing but trouble with that method. After I edited fstab and rebooted, the drive with my user folder on it would not mount, and a default user folder was recreated on the boot drive. Anyone know what went wrong?
 

broken_keyboard

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2004
1,144
0
Secret Moon base
EasyB said:
So this should work as a temporary solution to my problem.

1-Copy my user file off of my powerbook to a FW drive
2-Send my PB in for repair
3-Add a new user on my friends mac
4-go into NetInfo Manager and redirect my location to my FW Drive
5-When PB gets back, copy user folder back to PB.

Will that work?
Sounds good. I have no experience with Firewire drives, but as long as the OS mounts it before you log in it should be ok. My home dir is on the second SATA drive in my g5.