How to boot the same system on a MacBook / iMac?

Houpla

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 1, 2018
8
7
Hi!

I have a Macbook Pro and an iMac. I'd like to use my Macbook Pro when I'm on the go, but when I get home switch to much more powerful iMac and have exactly the same login/account, files, installed apps, system extensions, downloads etc as on my Macbook.

What would be the best way to accomplish that? Boot from my Macbook as a Firewire drive on iMac? Set un some kind of sync? (Sometimes I modify and add hundreds of gigabytes, up to a terabyte per day when on the go, so any sync over internet wouldn't be practical.)

Any other ideas?

Extra hard mode – what if I switch to a Hackintosh instead of my current iMac in the future? :)
 

gyrf

macrumors newbie
Nov 20, 2015
9
11
You could use an external Thunderbolt SSD as your boot drive, and possibly an additional external hard drive or SSD for your data. Then you could just move the drives between systems.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,998
5,956
My opinion only. And it's going to be different from everyone else's.

It's a fool's errand to try to get 2 Macs to be "exactly the same".

I have four Macs here (2 Minis and 2 MacBook Pros) that I access.
I let each Mac "be its own Mac", so to speak. Each is different from the others.

Really, if you transport data between two Macs, THAT'S where you need to concentrate -- not on the Macs themselves.

I generally keep all of my "main files" (email, financial, etc.) on one Mac. If I need to "transport data around", I use a flash drive or something like that.

I suppose "the cloud" can provide much more "synchronization" between two or more Macs.
But I don't use the cloud... at all. No interest.
 

MacUser2525

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2007
1,912
268
Canada
Hi!

I have a Macbook Pro and an iMac. I'd like to use my Macbook Pro when I'm on the go, but when I get home switch to much more powerful iMac and have exactly the same login/account, files, installed apps, system extensions, downloads etc as on my Macbook.

What would be the best way to accomplish that? Boot from my Macbook as a Firewire drive on iMac? Set un some kind of sync? (Sometimes I modify and add hundreds of gigabytes, up to a terabyte per day when on the go, so any sync over internet wouldn't be practical.)

Any other ideas?

Extra hard mode – what if I switch to a Hackintosh instead of my current iMac in the future? :)
Hard question last nothing to it once the hackintosh is setup properly to boot into macOS them files need never change on the drive used for my next suggestion. Get spare drive and carbon copy cloner when done working on either machine to go to the next fire up the ccc. Once loaded use its clone function to duplicate the internal to external drive you have for this purpose. Connect to other machine and start with it as boot drive once done then either use for the day or amount of time wanted then clone to the internal drive. Or just clone to internal off the start and reboot into the internal drive. This can be done with a hack as you asked as the files used to boot it are contained in the external drives EFI partition or the internal drive of the hack. It will just boot once selected in whichever boot loader you use on the hack. With two apple machines the only step extra needed is the option key to select the external to boot from with the cloned OS.
 

ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
3,290
1,951
Between the coasts
Since files go to iCloud and then back to the other Mac (if I understand iCould correctly), it is not realistic in my situation (gigabyes of data) given current Internet speeds.
It depends on what kind of data (individual file size, etc.), and how often you access the bulk of it. For most people, the files they're working on actively are a small fraction of their total data storage, but there are always exceptions. Those actively-used files are cached locally, so they don't re-download every time you open them (infrequently-used files are a different matter).