My Cloud, Symbolic Link, 4 MacBooks

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by samstone, Jul 17, 2015.

  1. samstone macrumors newbie

    samstone

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2015
    Location:
    USA
    #1
    So today the 4 person family shares an iMac, with each user having a separate ID and account. I have an external hd for time machine connected to the iMac, and separate external hd for iTunes that is connected to my Airport Extreme base station so everyone can access the iTunes library (which is about 400 gb). I have an older Airport Extreme so the usb disk mounting is not always flawless and you sometimes have to disconnect and reconnect to get the iTunes drive to mount properly. My kids have MBPs as well, so they don’t really use the iMac all that much.

    We are moving to a "full laptop" implementation where we will all have MacBooks (2 MBA, 2 MBP). The iMac (2009) will be "retired" to the music room for recording. We all each have iPhones and a little-used 1st gen iPad.

    I plan to use a thunderbolt dock (likely the elegato) to allow any/all of the MB’s to dock and use a bigger screen (a 23" HDMI we have in a spare room), a keyboard and mouse (i.e., a desktop mode).

    I’d like to put most of the OSX “user” default folders, the shared iTunes library, the shared photo library, and maybe some other assorted shared folders on an external drive and make that a personal cloud for all devices to access anywhere. In this way, it won’t matter who is “docked” and who is not because all the key “user” stuff for any user is on the personal cloud.

    I’m also getting a new Airport time Capsule (2tb) to allow time machine backups of 3 of the MBs that are regularly in the house.

    So here’s my proposed setup, with questions specifically about the cloud structure (including using symbolic links for the user folders):

    1) The elegato dock will connect to the monitor, Ethernet to the Airport, maybe one external drive just for grins, and maybe usb keyboard/mouse (to prevent conflicts on Bluetooth keyboard/mouse between a docked MB and one that may be 8 feet away on the couch).

    2) The cloud drive would be connected to the Airport to allow each user’s MB to directly access their documents, photos, etc. I would use symbolic links for the OSX default folders as necessary (Documents, Downloads, Pictures, etc.). My hope is that this way each user won’t care where they are (docked or undocked, home or away) and can always access their Documents folder and others. My question here is – can a WD My Cloud or competitor use symbolic links this way? I can’t find a clear answer anywhere on the ‘net.

    3) I’d used the Time Capsule of the Airport to back up the 3 MB’s in the house (my son’s is often at college) over the home network.

    The confusing link in this structure is the cloud drive. I’m fine having a dropbox-like folder on each computer for some stuff (we use DB now for that), but I’d really like a “transparent” method for regular documents and such so that each user would not have to remember to where to put things, and everything would sync so if my spouse is out somewhere with her laptop, she can easily access her documents that she may have created or edited at home.

    Anyone have experience with this type of set up, including specifically the symbolic link with WD MyCloud?
     
  2. samstone thread starter macrumors newbie

    samstone

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2015
    Location:
    USA

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