To move the home folder- pros and cons and other implications.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by biker joe, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. biker joe macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    #1
    So I've set up my new mac pro per macperformanceguide.com recommendations and have a SS boot drive and all my data on a separate Master drive (raid(0) stripe). Lloyd Chambers recommends keeping your home folder on the boot drive as it has a lot of extraneous app files stored in the library. This just means you don't store any data files in your home folder, you put them all on your data disk (with some exception to desktop files- see below)

    On the other hand, Chris Parillo at

    http://chris.pirillo.com/how-to-move-the-home-folder-in-os-x-and-why/

    suggests just moving your entire home folder. This seems more convenient from a user perspective but does cause some mixing of app files and data files that could cause problems down the road. Such problems include, if for some reason, your system misses the home folder, it will create a new one and all your preferences will be suddenly changed.

    With this is mind, I've decided to keep my home folder on the boot drive, but it is now annoying to have my desktop files on my boot drive. Again, this is bad mixing of Data and App files and it makes it so if I want to move a file over to the Data file, I have to remember to command click so it doesn't just copy it over and leave two files, one on the desktop and a new copy on the data file. I can't just drag and drop, because it is just copying the file to a separate disk. So if I forget to command click, I have to manually trash the desktop files.

    So now if I only had a solution to move my desktop folder location. Anyone have some ideas?

    I've tried the options in this thread:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=10917381#post10917381

    but they haven't seemed to work. I used a similar terminal trick to move my mail folder off my home folder, why can't I do the same with the desktop folder?

    Any suggestions or other pros and cons to moving the entire home folder over?
     
  2. psychometry macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    #2
    Even when I was on one hard drive, I maintained an additional admin user account with a clean setup for debugging.

    When I set up my MP next week, I will move my primary account's entire home folder to the other (RAID0) volume. If that RAID dies, I still have another account set up for debugging and recovery without screwing up my primary account, whose home folder would be temporarily inaccessible.
     
  3. biker joe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    #3
    That is an interesting solution for moving your home folder. But if something were to happen with your main user home folder, you would still end up with problems, right? This would just allow you another user account to go and fix things.

    I'm still hoping someone has a desktop data folder moving suggestion so I don't end up having to move the home folder. But with your tip, I'll add one for just moving the home folder over!
     
  4. sboerup macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    #4
    A recent discovery that made me very delighted I had moved my home folder years ago. I received my new MP and did a fresh instal of 10.6 on my SSD. Booted in for the first time, updated my home folder to the secondary drive and rebooted as it required. Then, magically, all my application settings (wallpaper, dock, network, etc) were already set. I then installed my apps (most of which copied and pasted right over just fine) and I was up and running in a jiffy.

    The 2nd reason why I advocate moving the home folder is keeping the SSD size small is VERY hard with the home folder on the boot. It's much easier to manage the drives and data this way (for me at least).

    Also, doing what psychometry said will prevent you from not being able to boot in case your home folder drive isn't recognized or connected to the machine. If I were to log in now with the Home folder drive disconnected, I couldn't log in.
     
  5. RodoLana macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Location:
    Moons of the 7th planet
    #5
    Take a look at this article:
    http://www.macgurus.com/productpages/guides/MoveUsers_part1.php

    I'm using this setup on my 2008 Mac Pro running 10.6.3 and the only problems I've encountered are that some apps will only allow installations on the OS drive and that some apps (Adobe) will still install items on the OS drive even when the app is installed on another drive.

    RL
     
  6. strausd macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #6
    I moved my home folder to a mechanical drive. The reason is because I constantly need to drag stuff to the desktop, drag it off, copy files on desktop, and basically a lot of stuff with files on the desktop for easy access. I did not want to have all this data being written to the SSD, otherwise it would make it degrade faster. I have not had any problems with having my home folder on a separate Caviar Black. If you are thinking about it, I'd suggest doing it.
     
  7. biker joe thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2010
    #7
    Thanks for all your replies. Seems like everyone likes moving the home folder. Is there really no way to just move/mirror the desktop???
     
  8. strausd macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #8
    I asked that in the Mac OS X forums and got a few responses. However, they involved typing some stuff in Terminal and I got 2 contradicting responses so didn't feel comfortable with that.
     
  9. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    California, United States
    #9
    First of all, how long do you intend to keep that particular drive? 3 years? 5 years?

    I was under the impession that current gen SSDs were advanced enough already that you could write several gigs to them a day and still not see performance degredation in years.

    Top that off with Intel's G3 SSDs (along with newer generations from other brands) are hitting by the end of the year with even better performance and stability and I'm starting to think that all this paranoia surrounding SSD write limitations is greatly exaggerated.

    I'm too lazy to fetch the numbers supporting this, but I'm pretty sure this is the case. And again, if you probably don't plan on keeping the drive for that long anyway, then really what's the point?

    It's like when they used to talk about how plasma TVs lose will lose their brightness in XX amount of years.....IF you leave it on for 12+ hours a day, every day, which is just not practical to the average user. And seriously, are you going to keep that TV for XX years? Let's assume 10 years, before it's brightness level degrades to half brightness, lets say.

    Probably not.

    For this very reason, I am now considering just leaving my apps and data files on the SSD drive. Just seems like too much of a hassle and maintenance to move the home folder around and keep the integrity of your system in check.
     
  10. strausd macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #10
    The blocks on the SSD themselves won't physically degrade for years, thats true just like you said. However, because OS X doesn't support the TRIM command, you can get SSD "degradation" (if you even wana call it that) very easily.

    Say you have an 80GB SSD and write 40GB to it. Then you delete 10GB of the data. The OS will say you have 50GB free, but that 10GB you deleted will still be physically on the drive. Since it is not a mechanical drive, it will not just overwrite it, the data actually has to be deleted. So say you write another 40GB to the SSD. It will say there is 10GB free, but the SSD will still be full. So say you add 10GB back. The SSD will have to take time to remove the 10GB you deleted and take time to actually add the 10GB. So adding this 10GB takes twice as long as it would if the drive already had 10GB physically free.

    So the reason you get the "degradation" problem is not because the drive is physically degrading, it is because it has to remove the old data. So the drive can still last a long time, but it won't be factory speeds, meaning it won't have empty cells.

    Hope that made sense...
     
  11. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    California, United States
    #11
    No, I understand you. It makes complete sense and I'm aware TRIM support is not available yet for OS X, but since Apple has been transitioning it's entire Mac line to SSDs, it's inevitable that Apple will soon offer TRIM support in 10.7.

    Just a matter of time, really. And now that iOS 4 is out the door, I would expect their teams to start focusing on the Mac side software now. Hopefully sooner than later. It would be nice to see 10.7 with TRIM by next fall. :)
     
  12. reel2reel macrumors 6502a

    reel2reel

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #12
    I agree 100%. The "noisy" Mac Pro thing seems to be another over-reaction. On the SSD topic, though, the brand seems to make a difference. Here's some info on the OWC's, which touches on the whole lifespan thing:

    http://macperformanceguide.com/Reviews-SSD-OWC-Mercury_Extreme.html

    There's also a page on his site that discusses "reconditioning." I'm not completely sure if this addresses what strausd is talking about?

    http://diglloydtools.com/manual/disktester-recondition.html
     
  13. dockingbay94 macrumors regular

    dockingbay94

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2010
    #13
    I moved my home folder from the SSD into the Caviar Black and have had no issues. Highly recommend doing so.
     
  14. strausd macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #14
    Ya, I think it will have TRIM support in 10.7. But since OS X doesn't have it yet, I don't wana risk running into any slowdowns on my SSD. Plus there was that thing in system profiler that at least mentions the TRIM command which is very promising :)

    [​IMG]


    Ya, that was what I was talking about. That will physically get rid of the data on the drive even if the OS doesn't see the data. It can be an extreme pain, which is why so many people want OS X to support the TRIM command, so we won't have to go through that.

    OWC + Caviar Black = pwn
     
  15. yetanotherdave macrumors 68000

    yetanotherdave

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    Apr 27, 2007
    Location:
    Bristol, England
    #15
  16. strausd macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #16

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