Which 'Library' is '~/Library/'?

peanutismint

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 4, 2007
422
8
Cardiff, UK
When someone tells me to look in ~/Library/, does that mean the Library folder in the root of my 'Macintosh' drive, or the Library folder in my User area? Does it matter? How do these two Library sections differ? And is there an easy/obvious way to remember which one I should be accessing?
 

maflynn

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Staff member
May 3, 2009
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Boston
When someone says ~/Library that's short hand for /Users/<Your user>/Library.

The other library folder is /Library.

The primary difference between the two as I understand it, is that ~/Library is user based, holding information that pertains to your user account, i.e., your email settings, attachment and caching goes there. /Library is for more system wide settings and information.
 
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peanutismint

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Apr 4, 2007
422
8
Cardiff, UK
Thanks so much, this makes much more sense now, and is easy to remember because I guess '~' is shorthand for 'whatever preamble usually comes before this symbol', in this case your specific user account name etc....

So if I ever see '/Library' then it's safe to assume it's the one in the root of my HDD.
 

maflynn

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Staff member
May 3, 2009
63,857
30,381
Boston
Use /<any directory> means the root folder and its direct subdirectories, like /System or /Library
 

balamw

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Staff member
Aug 16, 2005
19,075
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New England
~ is Unix shorthand for your HOME folder. Usually /Users/<USERNAME>.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_directory

B