user directory confusions!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by macRumorsUserX, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. macRumorsUserX macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2015
    #1
    So I had to install some plugins for Quartz Composer in the location user/username/library/quartz composer/..

    in doing so I found that the mac directory is very confusing to me,

    for one thing, "library" is invisible by default. I don't know why that needs to be the case but i'd like to change it anyway.

    another thing is there are two libraries.

    there is HD/user/username/libraries & there is HD/library

    if anyone could explain the difference to me? or link me to documentation explaining that?

    and finally, the most confusing thing (why i attached an image)

    when i'm in HD/users/username/... there is my username again at the top. if I go to that folder it enters a recursive loop that extends 3 times and then seems to stop.

    what is up with that?
     
  2. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    Warrington, UK
    #2
    The HD/user/username/library is hidden to keep it "safe" from people who don't really know what they are doing. To access it, click on the Go Menu in Finder's Menubar, then hold down the Alt key and Library becomes visible. You can then click on it to open it's Finder window.

    The HD/user/username/library pertains to you. Each User Account will have it's own Library for use by that account.

    The HD/library is for the computer as a whole, and contains things that all the accounts need to access.

    As your image is not showing, I can't comment on that. What do you mean by:
     
  3. macRumorsUserX thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2015
    #3
    ok so here's the image. (i used a different attach before.. its a bit confusing on this site)

    hopefully you see. it repeats the same directory 3 times.


    Thanks for explaining the HD/lib vs. Hd user lib .. makes sense lol
     

    Attached Files:

  4. mfram macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego, CA USA
    #4
    It looks like a symbolic link or hard link pointing to the local directory. If you'd like to verify that, select the details list. The "kind" of file should be 'alias'.

    If it says alias then you can just get rid of it. Select it and use the "Move to Trash" option.

    If you'd like to demonstrate the behavior in Terminal:

    Create a symbolic link.

    Code:
    ln -s . me
    Now you should have an alias called 'me' that will behave the same as your picture in Finder.

    Delete it. Either move 'me' to the trash or use the Terminal.

    Code:
    rm me
     
  5. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    Warrington, UK
    #5
    Having your Home Folder at the top of the columns seems odd. Mine doesn't show.
     
  6. macRumorsUserX thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2015
    #6
    I am not familiar with any of what you said. I used terminal once in my life and under careful instruction from a website's list instructions. I find it ... perplexing that you'd assume a random signup to one of the 2 or 3 preeminent and there common mac help forums would understand coding in terminal.

    however, i believe an "alias" is a copy of a file. rather like a hyperlink. I deleted the first instance of this "alias" and my directory returned to what i think is normal.

    how that alias got their in the first place is beyond me. but none of the directories in the infinite mirror contained any greater amount of folders than the other so i assume their was no real asset losses.

    thank you.
     
  7. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    Warrington, UK
    #7
    Ahh. Never noticed that. Yes, the Home Folder icon at the top of each column in your screenshot is indeed an Alias. I didn't notice that little black arrow before.

    An Alias is not a copy of a file, just a link to that file. It's Windows equivalent would be a Shortcut.
     
  8. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    Warrington, UK
    #8
    PS. You can delete all those Aliases if you wish. You are not deleting the original files.
     

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