Moving Target Location of Home Folders ... can it be done?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by JasonGough, Feb 9, 2006.

  1. JasonGough macrumors regular


    Apr 25, 2005
    Manchester, UK
    I would like to keep all my Movies on my big drive, rather than my system drive.

    Is it possible to change the target location that finder uses for the Movies tab in Finder?

    I know i can easily drag the new folder into the sidebar, but i would rather have it set so the movis folder is the official 'Home' movies folder..

    Can this be done?
  2. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    It's unlikely that you could get it to work properly, but you could try a couple of things:

    1) an AppleScript to move/copy and delete the movie somewhere else, tied in with folder actions

    2) an Alias or Smart Folder that points to the other folder. This is more dangerous since you're messing with the default setup. You might never get things to work correctly once you delete the original Movies folder.
  3. garybUK Guest


    Jun 3, 2002
    Just delete the Movies folder from your home folder, create a folder on your data disk and in terminal create a symlink to your data disk:


    ln -s /Users/gary/Movies /Volumes/Data/Movies
  4. kgarner macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2004
    What he said. I did this a while ago when I had smaller hardrives in my system. It works fine. I even had my entire home folder located on another drive at one point. I was using a temporary system and didn't want to bother with having to erase all of my stuff when I got the new system. It worked flawlessly (except when I forgot to turnt he drive on).
  5. JasonGough thread starter macrumors regular


    Apr 25, 2005
    Manchester, UK
    that sounds great, might give that a try later on. Will that totally use the new folder on my other HD as the Home on, so it shows up in all the sidebars and stuff?

    Thanx for the help guys :)
  6. JasonGough thread starter macrumors regular


    Apr 25, 2005
    Manchester, UK

    I just tried this and its giving me this error

    -bash: In: command not found

    what am i doing wrong? this is what i've got typed in...

    jays-power-mac-g5:~ Jay$ In -s /Users/Jay/Movies /Volumes/Audio/Videos
    -bash: In: command not found

    its exactly what you guys suggested, why is it not working?

    Running 10.4.3, please help me! :)
  7. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    its ln (as in lowercase "L") not I ;)

    here's the wiki link that tells you what's going on with that: link
  8. JasonGough thread starter macrumors regular


    Apr 25, 2005
    Manchester, UK
    ahh, thanx for pointing that one out! :)

    despite now typing it in correctly, it just doesn't seem to want to work :(

    i am folowing the steps Gary said, but somthings not working..

    it seems that after i creat the Movies folder on my Data disk, i then link it in terminal, and then inside the new Movies folder there is a folder with a shortcut icon in it. if i copy a file into that folder, it simply copied the file back onto my system drive, instead of simply linking it.

    you guys say you've had success with this before, so what am i doing wrong?

    As i said earlier, all i'm after is to have all the files for the vids on my 2nd internal hard disk, whilst having those files linked to my offical home folder.

    I want this so that my system feels like normal, with the movies link in the sidebar, and all the assosiation of it being in my home folder, just the files are taking up all the space on my other hard disk.

    thanx in advance for your help :)
  9. garybUK Guest


    Jun 3, 2002

    Step1: type: mkdir "/Volumes/Data Disk/gary/Movies" (or path to new folder)

    Step2: move everything from your old home directory into this folder by:
    mv "~/Movies/*" "/Volumes/Data Disk/gary/Movies"

    Step3: remove your old folder: rm -rf ~/Movies (you may have to type sudo) e.g. sudo rm -rf ~/Movies and type your password.

    Step4: create symlink with: ln -s "/Volumes/Data Disk/gary/Movies" "~/Movies"

    Edit: ----
    Okay if the Movies folder exists on your data disk it will make another Movies folder within that folder, this will be empty anyway and the link should work!
    Also if you get stuck in terminal type: man ln

    I'd take a backup of your home dir before you do this however.
  10. JasonGough thread starter macrumors regular


    Apr 25, 2005
    Manchester, UK
    man why can't i just get this working! :(

    FYI, i now have a partition called Jay that i have my movies and music in, that is also my user name but i don't think thats causing the problem.

    it seems that the problem is the home movies folder isn't there anymore, which is what i expected since you said to deleat it first...

    this is what happened...

    Last login: Fri Feb 24 22:07:00 on console
    Welcome to Darwin!
    Jays-Mac:~ Jay$ sudo rm -rf ~/Movies

    We trust you have received the usual lecture from the local System
    Administrator. It usually boils down to these three things:

    #1) Respect the privacy of others.
    #2) Think before you type.
    #3) With great power comes great responsibility.

    Jays-Mac:~ Jay$ ln -s "/Volumes/Jay/Movies" "~/Movies"
    ln: ~/Movies: No such file or directory
    Jays-Mac:~ Jay$

    why are things not going to plan? sorry if i'm annoying you.... i'd love to learn how to use terminal properly, i just can't get this going :(
  11. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    You could try removing the location of your home..?

    In /Apps/Utilities/ you'll find NetInfo Manager.
    Go to "users", and then select <yourname>.

    Click the lock and to authenticate, and you should be able to edit the location of your home.
    Be carefull though..... please backup everything first... :eek:
  12. JasonGough thread starter macrumors regular


    Apr 25, 2005
    Manchester, UK
    thanx for that idea MacRGr8 but its not quite what im after.

    I don't want to move the location of my entire home folder, just the movies folder.

    I want to store the big files on my 2nd internal disk, but have them linked directly from my home videos folder. I want it to act asif the movies files were actualy on the OS disk, but simply pick them up from the 2nd disk..

    still not had any joy... i hope this is possible.....
  13. ElectricSheep macrumors 6502


    Feb 18, 2004
    Wilmington, DE
    Don't use quotes around "~/Movies", or bash will not expand the '~' to your home directory.
  14. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I have my system set up this way. It's easy.

    I'm looking at this the other way. I've been a long time UNIX user, software engineer and sysadmin going back to when UNIX was a new thing and the Apple II was yet to be built. Yes the symlink idea others are taling about would work and that's the first think I'd think of doing. But now I'm using Mac OSX and I'm trying to learn the "pointy-clicky" method. I had the same problem. I wanted my movie, iTunes and iPhoto libraries to live on my file server's disks. Not only is there more space there but I wanted the same data to be available on any networked computer

    Here's what I did: Drag the "movies" folder over to the other disk. Then right-click on it and select "make alias". Drag the alias icon over to where the movies folder used to be. Finally change the name of the alias to be just "movies"

    After doing this I found that I then had a "link" called "Movies". So, the "make alias" menu pick simply makes a link. Apple provides a clean "point and click" way to do this. You don't need the terminal at all for this.

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