Wha this? sw


macrumors 68030
Original poster
What is this crap? This sw folder suddenly showed up on my Mac HD after I upgraded to Jaguar, and it has like bin, lib, and src folders in there so I'm scared that if I'll delete it it might mess up the system... anyone know what it is? Also, I moved it to some other location, and when I started up the Terminal, it said /sw: no such file. So it looks like even the Terminal has something to do with it...





macrumors 6502
Apr 17, 2002
Columbia, MO
I'm no mac expert, but I do love Linux. Is it possible that the folder you are seeing is your swap, and moving it is not possible without creating a symbolic link? Is there a setting in OS X to show hidden files and folders like in Windows or are you logged in as root? Any more background you can give us?



macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2002

I think fink creates a sw folder on your HD. Have you installed fink?


macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2002
bat country
fink will create a /sw folder once you install it, but deleting it will only mess up fink (not your system). i would recomend desinstaller for removing unwanted packages (like fink). Did you do an archive install when you upgraded to jaguar? i have'nt upgraded yet, but i believe that when you archive, it saves all of the stuff from your previous system (bin,etc,lib and all) in case you need any of it back. if this is the case, and you have not installed any crucial third party command line apps/xwindows/etcetera, you can trash the folder. mac os x does not need a /sw folder so your system itself will not mess up if you trash it.


macrumors 65816
Jan 19, 2002
If you use fink (or plan to) or any of the MANY tools available via fink, why not just use X-Ray to make the /sw folder invisible?

You's already got umpteen invisible folders in / anyway.


macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2002
Seattle, WA

It is the greatest asset to Mac OS X power users. It is a realatively simple way to install just about any application that comes with a standard Linux distribution. X-Windows (via X Darwin), Ethereal, Emacs, vi, orbit, mysql, gnome, kde, gpg, mutt, elm, gzip

Many of them are command line applications, but the X Darwin is sweet. It will let you run XWindows in "rootless" mode, where you can have an Aqua windows and a gnome or KDE window on the same screen. Plus it works great with multiple monitors.

One cool trick I do... I have a Linux box at work. It is running VMWare for Linux. I have Windows XP installed as a Virtual Machine (think Virtual PC, but much faster, does not emulate a PC as much, since there is a real PC to work with).
On the linux box, I do:
Then I "setenv DISPLAY my.dns.name"

Then I do "vmware &" and up on my Mac, a new window pops up. It is the screen of a virtual windows XP box that actually runs pretty damn fast. The only thing that is going back and forth over the network is the screen updates and keyboard, mouse, and sound.

There is another program, called VNC that does the same for just about any platform. (no ****, it can run client and server on just about anything) My friend runs the VNC server on his Mac Server, and runs the client on his pocket PC with a wireless card. He can control the mac from the pocket PC. Sick but true.

BTW, vnc comes with Fink.

If you try it, make sure you read the directions to install it. You download one thing, and install it in the familiar mac os package method, but then you need to do the rest of the install in a terminal window.


macrumors 65816
Jan 19, 2002
fink is a package manager which downloads and compiles UNIX binaries (apps).

If you prefer vim to vi, fink, via 'sudo fink install vim', will download, compile, and install vim. If you want to play around in the UNIX side of the Mac, fink is the easiest way to do it for most apps which don't have pre-compiled binary distros for Mac.

This is useful mostly for developers and geeks right now (most people could care less about running the current MySQL or GIMP). In the future, as MacOS is revealed as a pretty window manager sitting on a robust (if dated) UNIX core, and people dig under the hood a bit more, we'll see fink being a valuable too for the 'power user'.

Many of the new cool shareware tools are only Aqua GUIs running UNIX scripts or binaries...if you want to use something NOW, and don't mind a higher learning curvem check out fink.sourceforge.net. Then write a nice Aqua GUI, and become a shareware hero.