Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 27, 2015
Our Mac is set up with a normal user account for each family member, of which there are a few, so it seemed to me a waste of disk space and download data that everyone has their own Google Earth cache, which can grow quite large.

So, I was thinking it should be possible to set it up such that everyone shares a single cache, and I've done the following setup:

1) Create shared directory for caches
I created "/Users/Shared/Library/Caches/Google Earth"

Since "Library" isn't a default folder under Shared, I did a "chflags hidden" on it, so it doesn't show up in Finder and confuse the users.

2) Move an existing Google Earth cache to shared directory
mv "/Users/<normaluser>/Library/Caches/Google Earth/" "/Users/Shared/Library/Caches/Google Earth"
chmod -R g+rw "/Users/Shared/Library/Caches/Google Earth"
rmdir "/Users/<normaluser>/Library/Caches/Google Earth"

3) Set up link for every user to shared Google Earth cache
ln -s "/Users/Shared/Library/Caches/Google Earth" "/Users/<eachuser>/Library/Caches/Google Earth"

I have tested this with multiple users and it works like a charm:
If I zoom in (on Google Earth) to where a previous user has already been, the data is instantly there, telling me it's from the cache.
If I go somewhere else, it downloads the new data.
If I then log out and log in with another user and go there, the data is instantly there.

Just wanted to seek opinions as to whether this is a good idea or whether there's something I hadn't considered, thanks!


macrumors 68040
Mar 21, 2014
I see only one flaw, that you haven't (maybe?) upgraded to the now-free Google Earth Pro, which has so many more features and options to play with.
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.