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Relocating the 'Users' directory UNIX
[Editor's note: See the comments for a walk-through on how to successfully move your 'Users' folder to another hard drive.]

I'm interested in relocating my Users directory to seperate partition on my hard drive, to make sure there's plenty of room for all my users files. Knowing that Unix requires certain folders/files to be in certain locations, is this possible? If so, what other files/prefs will I have to change in order to make sure the system understands this? (BTW, I'm a total unix newbie, but very keen to learn!)
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go for it
Authored by: robh on Mar 25, '01 02:02:01PM

I see no problem in moving /Users onto another disk. Unix doesn't care where you keep it.

First you'll need to move (backup) the existing /Users out of the way with "mv /Users /old_Users".

Now you can either rename the 2nd disk /Users or set a symbolic link (aka symlink or soft link) to it. I don't have a second disk to play with, but I believe you can get away with just renaming it, using "mv /Disk2 /Users". The symbolic link solution is to let OSX mount the disk and then use "ln -s /Disk2 /Users".

If you want to use the 2nd disk for /Users *and* other stuff then you could use the symbolic link method like this..

mkdir /Disk2/Users
ln -s /Disk2/Users /Users

Once you've done that you can move (or copy if you feel safer) your backup into place, e.g. "mv /old_Users/* /Users/". Make sure that the permissions/ownership on the new /Users directory is the same as the old one. My OSX beta's /Users perms are:
drwxrwxr-x 4 root admin 92 Jan 12 23:33 /Users
So you'd then need to "chown root:admin /Disk2 ; chmod 775 /Disk2" (replace /Disk2 with /Disk2/Users if that's the directory you used).

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went for it, thanks!
Authored by: cichlisuite on Mar 25, '01 08:25:42PM
What a process, but I finally got it to work.

When I first attempted to back up the "Users" directory, I realized that I had to preform this operation logged in as root. I then also realized that I could not login as root. A message from the MacAddict forums (posted by iLuvMiMac) cleared up how to enable the root account. Here it is just in case:
Use the NetInfo Manager to do so, under domain, security, authenticate, then domain, security, enable root user.
Then I followed rob's directions for backing up the Users directory, making the new Users directory, creating a symbolic link and moving the contents of the backed up Users into the new Users directory.
One thing to note though for other Unix newbies wanting to try this. The directory path will look more like this:
Two other details... I am using OS X Retail and I did not need to change/set the permissions on the folder.

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Symlink Trick not 100%
Authored by: aalegado on Mar 30, '01 04:52:24PM

I tried this and encountered problems where, upon login to the account that was moved, some items were not available. I expected the symlink to work but choose a different solution:

The better route I found was to use the NetInfo Utility and edit the User properties and actually change the "official" location of the home directory. On Linux I would just edit the /etc/passwd file but on OS X NetInfo is deriguer. So...

To do this, first I logged in as root and did "cp -Rp /Users/shortname /New/Location/shortname". This is a recursive copy that preserves ownership ("chown") settings. I copied my existing home directory to the new location. Then I used Netinfo to change the User home directory property from /Users/shortname to /New/Location/shortname .

Logging in as myself, everything works as expected. For clean-up purposes, I tarballed my old user directory and deleted the original folder. This gives me a back-up of the directory but not the directory itself which could cause confusion. The tar command I used was: "tar zcf shortname.tgz /Users/shortname" . This copies all the files and directories into the tar file and then gzips it. The converse is tar zxf shortname.tgz but the StuffIt Expander handles tgz files too.

My particular application was to move my home directory from my OS X boot partition to a large (50GB) general purpose partition.

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Symlink Trick not 100%
Authored by: Anonymous on Apr 03, '01 12:47:23PM


Thank you for the very helpful information - I've been searching everywhere for this!

I followed your procedure and it worked fine to relocate the "User" directory. All of my desktop preferences appeared to transfer with it (as expected). However, when I attempted to run MS Explorer I got an error, and when I attempted to run Mail, it didn't find my settings. I assume that none of the other applications are pointed to the new location of the User directory either.

One detail: I used Netinfo to change the User home directory property to /Volumes/Drivename/shortname. Do I instead need to create a Users directory on the new drive so that the home directory property is /Volumes/Drivename/Users/shortname?

Also, is there a way to have a Drivename with a space in it (sorry for the newbie UNIX question)?


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Symlink Trick not 100%
Authored by: aalegado on Apr 03, '01 02:29:58PM

What you're describing sounds like what happened to me when I used the symlink trick but it sounds like you have a permissions problem. When the apps launch they "know" who the current user is (whoever's logged in) and that where the app goes to find it's preferences. Specifically, they look in the Library folder of the logged-in user. If the preferences files have the wrong ownership or access rights, the app will fail to read it references. Since the app can't overwrite a file the logged-in user doesn't own, it'll most likely fail. That sounds like what's happening to you.

Both the symlink method and mine require that the original homedir's contents be copied somewhere else. How you do the copy _matters_ big time--specifically, are you copying everything (invisible files included) and are you preserving the file/folder ownership.

I don't trust the Finder to copy everything. Maybe it does but I haven't tested to find out. Since I'm comfortable at the command line, I did the copy there. However, you should move a user you're logged in as so you have to logout and login as someone else. The most convenient "someone" else is root. Being root means that you have to be careful how you copy the files...

* Definitely DO NOT copy in the Finder. A Finder copy as root creates root-owned files!!! Moreover, the Finder may omit certain files which doubles the potential problems.

* Use the 'p' switch at the command line to preserve ownership.
Ex. cp -Rp /Users/Old /Volumes/HD/New
The 'R' switch indicates a recursive copy which copies all files and folder from the specified directory down. With 'R' you will only copy files in the current directory and folders and their contents will be ignored.

You do not need to use a 'Users' folder. You can define your homedir as an entire volume or any designated folder on a volume. I used a 'User' folder just to build parallel to the default /Users which would still be used by the system were I to add another user. This is how I want to do things: The existing Users is still functional. All I've done is move one user's homedir elsewhere.

In my case, I created a /Users/aalegado folder on my big volume. I also moved some of my standard data folders (from my OS 9 environment) into my new homedir and while I was at it, I changed all the ownership to aalegado.wheel rather than the default aalegado.staff. To do that I used: cd ~aalegado/; chown -R aalegado.wheel *

That ~aalegado is worth explaining: ~username is shorthand for a user's home dir. Thus, on my system aalegado's homedir is /Volumes/Workspace/Users/aalegado (that's an absolute path BTW) which can be abbreviated to ~aalegado.

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Symlink Trick not 100%
Authored by: Anonymous on Apr 03, '01 05:24:44PM


Thanks for the help. The only mistake that I made was that I tried to do everything while logged in as the same User that I was trying to move. Made all of the difference when I logged in as root.

Thanks again,

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Breaks Apache?
Authored by: pcdoctor on Jul 02, '01 02:22:15PM

I have tried this to move on a user account which was a /~ type of web site, moving the users directory with NetInfo caused apache to break, would only give 404 errors. Put Netinfo back the way it was, works fine. Perms correct and everything.

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Breaks Apache?
Authored by: byersra on Feb 16, '03 11:48:55PM

Apache doesn't break, it just doesn't know where to find the new Sites folder.

Login as root or execute "sudo -s" from the Terminal
Navigate to /etc/httpd/users

This directory contains text files for each user. Open the file and modify the path from "/Users/<username>/Sites" to your new directory. Then log out and back in. At this point, everything should be working.

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Authored by: cichlisuite on Mar 25, '01 08:30:34PM

sorry, that link should be

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Another way
Authored by: Anonymous on Mar 26, '01 07:06:00AM

I used to do sys admin on Solaris systems and although its a few years since I last did any, I recalled we used to edit a file called fstab and use a mount command to do this. I was kind of suspicious when I saw the suggestion of using a symlink so I went and had a look see if a more UNIX like way would work.

Opened a terminal session and did a man on the mount command and fstab too. Both have man pages available (courtesy of the BSD stuff I guess).

Dug a little deeper and found three copies of an fstab file in /etc. Each with a different suffix. Typing the mount command on its own lists the current mounts and the df command also shows similar information.

Its similar enough to the various UNIX systems I've worked on before that I feel we ought to be able to do anything we like but its also ever so slightly different, enough that I wouldn't yet just type the mount commands and modify fstab files the way I used to.

I guess the bottom line is that for now the symlink approach is benign and fairly safe but that we ought to explore a more systematic way of doing this with mounts, fstab or even automounter. That might provide us a few tricks for deploying into corporate environments with NFS and such like. Its probably going to be similar solution to a traditional UNIX way of doing things but I'll bet there are some interesting wrinkles. Gott dig out all the old O'Reilly and Sun manuals now and go look see.

This probably applies to a whole load of other areas and I do think we could have a fascinating time getting to know this new OS.

Wow! MacOS, NeXTStep and UNIX in one box. I think I must have died and gone to Heaven ;-)

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Another way
Authored by: robh on Mar 26, '01 07:29:54AM

OSX may have various standard unix files floating around but some of them should not be touched since they are created/managed from NetInfoManager.

By renaming the drive (or partition) as /Users you're effectively mounting it as that name. If you use the 'df' command you can see where the drive/partition is mounted.

OSX has a nice automounter that means you can just plug-n-play with things like SCSI Jaz removable drives. There's no need to mess with fstab and mount points, you just let OSX mount it and then you can name it whatever you want. I like that. Mounting new drives under FreeBSD took a bit of insider knowledge.

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Another way - But this is wrong info!
Authored by: Anonymous on Apr 01, '01 05:35:06PM

If I call a partition ABCD then in df you can see it's mounted as /Volumes/ABCD

In the Finder, you can see a disk called ABCD, but this is not the same thing.

Which means that calling a partition /Users does NOT mount it at /Users,
which is what we want.

When I installed, I set up 4 partitions. MacOS X, MAcOS9, Users, and Recovery.

They have appeared at /dev/disk0s9 -- s12. MacOS X, where I installed MacOS X,
is mounted as /. The others are mounted as /Volumes/ABCD

The MAcOSX installer creates /etc, /var. /tmp, /usr on lower slices automatically it would

But I cannot get Mount to mount /dev/disk0s11 as /Users whatever i do.

Does anyone have any ideas?


Nick Rich

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Another way - But this is wrong info!
Authored by: Anonymous on Apr 02, '01 12:45:41PM
Taking a look myself at the fstab files in the /etc/ directory we see the following:

/dev/hd0a / ufs rw 1 1
/dev/hd0e /var ufs rw 1 2
/dev/hd0f /usr ufs rw 1 2
/dev/hd0d /tmp mfs rw,-s=12000,-b=8192,-f=1024,-T=sd660 0 0

[localhost:/etc] haplo% cat fstab.rd |more
/dev/rd0a / ufs rw 1 1
/dev/rd0e /usr ufs rw 1 2
/dev/rd0f /var ufs rw 1 2
/dev/rd0d /tmp mfs rw,-s=12000,-b=8192,-f=1024,-T=rd335 0 0

[localhost:/etc] haplo% cat |more
/dev/sd0a / ufs rw 1 1
/dev/sd0e /var ufs rw 1 2
/dev/sd0f /usr ufs rw 1 2
/dev/sd0d /tmp mfs rw,-s=12000,-b=8192,-f=1024,-T=sd660 0 0

that fact that I have done similar with different unix flavors would seemingly indicate that mounting a seperate disk/partition as /users would not be any problem.

It should be able to be accomplished by editing the 3 fstab files with a line similar to

/dev/sd0x /users ufs rw 1 1

where x is the partition and 0 is the drive number.

Note, I have not tried this yet myself because I do not have an extra partition or drive to work with currently. You should be able to get the drive/partition information from dmesg from the command line after you boot the machine.


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Another way - But this is wrong info!
Authored by: robh on Apr 03, '01 06:37:12PM

Doh. Apple added this /Volumes thing after the public beta.

After some experimentation I managed to mount a removeable scsi Jaz drive at /Jaz despite OSX wanting it automount it at /Volumes/Jaz.

First, with the disk automounted I got the drive details (/dev/disk1s4) using df. Next I unmounted the disk using umount /Volumes/Jaz I then fed a fstab line into NetInfoManager like this (as root):

echo "/dev/disk1s4 /Jaz hfs rw 1 1" | niload -m fstab .
(note the '.' at the end of that line)

Running NetInfoManager I can see the new mount entry under the "mounts" section.

I created an empty dir called /Jaz with "mkdir /Jaz" and then mounted the disk there with "mount /Jaz".

I hope that gives you some useful pointers, though using a symlink might be a lot less hassle.

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Need a better mouse trap
Authored by: maguirer on Apr 07, '01 08:09:20PM

I, too, would like my Users directory relocated to my 2nd hard drive.

Here's my three criteria for the solution:

1) I should be able to create new users simply and efficiently, and having the new user's home directory created automatically in the Users folder. For example, using the 'adduser' script located on this server.

2) I should be able to do so through the Mac OS X GUI, so that all the new user templateed default folders (Library, Documents, Sites, etc...) and preferences (Dock items, finder prefs, etc...) are created automatically in that home directory.

3) I should be able to do so after having rebooted the machine.

All the ideas presented here are good ideas, but none of them work 100%.

A) Making a symlink: This passes criteria (1) and (3), but surprisingly fails criteria (2). OSX creates the NetInfo entries, but fails to create the new folders and preferences.

B) Changing the home directory for the user in NetInfo Manager: By definition, this fails (1) and (2) because it's not done automatically. It passes criteria (3) easily.

C) Remounting the drive as /Users or some variant: Didn't test this fully, but appears to pass (1) and (2). Fails on (3) when I reboot. The startup process seems to ignore the 'mounts' entries in NetInfo and automounts the drive back to the old way.

Can anyone think of a sure-fire way of doing this?



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Eureka! I have your mousetrap at last!
Authored by: Anonymous on Apr 09, '01 07:59:52PM

I, too, would like to relocate the standard installed folders to other partitions and disks, and have a working system which survives reboots. This is pretty standard stuff for most Unixes.

So here is how I did it:

For the purposes of this example, i set up a disk with 3 partitions:
X, Classic, Users. Their purpose should be clear! So I installed 9.1 on Classic
and X on X, and set up a couple of users, Nick and (say) Bob.

So the default situation is now that my user home dirs live in /Users/nick and /Users/Bob.

My third ( Users ) partition is actually mounted as /Volumes/Users and is currently empty.
You can see this with df -k in Terminal; the Finder does not make this clear. On the Desktop and in Finder windows you can see X, Classic, Users all sitting together.

So, now I want my user accounts to live in my Users partition not in the /Users folder
which lives on my X partition.

Some have suggested symlinking. BUT lots of programs are broken bythe symlinks (including NetInfo manger, amongst others), so creating new users fails.

Others have suggested changing the home directory in NI Manager. This is clunky for many users though, and you have to copy the home files across from one disk to another.
And in any case this is not a general solution fro mounting things where you want.

Others have suggested editing /etc/fstab. Well, as far as I can see, /etc/fstab is only even read in single user mode. Edits to this make no discernible difference.

However, after much trial and error I think I have solved the problem.
This method actually works, I have actually done it, it's not something that 'ought to work in unix'. It may not be elegant, and if anyone can improve on it, I would love to hear from you. But it does work.

1) Disable the automounter.
The automounter mounts all filesystems at boot time and then hangs around waiting for you to put cds in or connect firewire disks. This is the bugger that's responsible for mounting under /Volumes. So switch it off to start with.

Edit /etc/hostconfig (you'll need to be root) and set
AUTOMOUNT to NO instead of YES
like this:


Ok, so if you rebooted now the machine would only mount X, or whatever partition you installed X on.
So we have to get Classic to mount and Users to mount.

2) Create mountpoints for your other partitions.

Make directories where you want the partitions to mount.
I moved
/Users to /Users1 temporarily (so I could copy my first two users back).
and made an empty /Users
And I made /Volumes/Classic (well, that was already there because automounter had made it for me. But I *could* have made /Classic, for example.)

Also, do df -k in terminal or run DiskUtility so you can see what slices your partitions are on.
(My /Users is on /dev/disk0s11).

3) Now, tell the system to mount your partitiions at boot time.
I did this by going to
and editing a file called

I put in the following lines at the end of the script:


# I have switched automount off so this mounts my partitions

echo 'Load /Users'
mount -t hfs /dev/disk0s11 /Users

echo 'Load /Volumes/Classic'
mount -t hfs /dev/disk0s9 /Volumes/Classic

echo 'Loaded'

# Now I'll restart the automounter
autodiskmount -a -v


What does this do? Well, mount mounts filesystems from special devices (which you see in df -k readout)
to nodes (directories) in the filesystem.
'-t hfs' tells you I have hfs partitions.

I'm mounting Users as /Users and Classic as /Volumes/Classic. I could mount these
anywhere. You can try these commands from Terminal and check they work. You should eb able to navigate the file systems via the command line. They'll even show up in the Finder if you restart its process.

The last line of my script edits starts up automounter a bit later than it would have.
Since I'm now mounted, it won't remount me. But if I don't do this, i can't insert CDs or
even use .dmg files or .smi files and have them Just Work.

That's it! Now, copy your user folders over to your new partition. Now you can delete
And reboot.

Now, /Users is whatever disk you set it up as. So if you make new users, by default they go to the right place. And it works after reboot. Hooray!

Hope this helps


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Eureka! I have your mousetrap at last!
Authored by: theolog on Oct 11, '01 03:01:49PM

This solution worked GREAT for my "unsupported" 10.0.4 setup on a 7300, but when I upgraded to 10.1, it stopped working! YIKES! Any ideas why (I've tried repeating the steps b/c some config files were overwritten, but to no avail!)

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Eureka! I have your mousetrap at last!
Authored by: theolog on Oct 11, '01 03:15:35PM

MY BAD!!! This solution works like a champ!! I had a typo (of course) in my script!

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Eureka! I have your mousetrap at last!
Authored by: cookdj on Jan 07, '02 08:14:16PM

I have tried this and have not been able to get it to work.

The bit that confuses me is where you say "I moved /Users to /Users1 temporarily (so I could copy my first two users back).
and made an empty /Users."

Do you mean that you made an empty Users folder in your OSX partition or your Users partition? I took it as meaning the OSX partition.

Anyway at the end of it all, I end up with an empty Users folder in my OSX partition, that doesn't seem to be pointing to my Users partition. In fact if I run Netinfo Manager, under Config->SharePoints, the Users sharepoint is no longer there. So any newly created user has <No Valid Sharepoint Selected> as their Share Point.

Any ideas.
Thanks in advance.

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Eureka! I have your mousetrap at last!
Authored by: cookdj on Apr 09, '02 03:14:43AM

Ahh ... I worked it out. You have to SHARE out the Users Partition, using the Sharing Module in Server Admin, so it appears as a Share Point. Works fine now.

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X reverting back to /Volumes mount point
Authored by: bjd14 on Feb 19, '02 02:43:50PM

Sometimes when I reboot X reverts to the old mounting scheme. Of course, I can eject the disk and remount it on the /Users point or whatever. But it's annoying.

I've found that it helps if you alter the permissions of your custom mount points to be identical to that of the standard mount points (ie, /Volumes/<your disk>).

For me,:
% ls -l
at the /Volumes directory gives me:
drwxrwxrwx 1 ben wheel 16384 Dec 31 1979 ZIP-100

so, i ran chmod on the /Users directory which i'm using as a mount point for my disk with the user directories on it.
chmod a+rwx /Users

i also did a chgrp for good measure:
chgrp wheel /Users

of course, all this after su'ing.

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X reverting back to /Volumes mount point
Authored by: artgeek on Aug 30, '02 06:27:22PM

Me too. I applied your suggestions as to volume perms, but still sporadically get what should be my /Users volume mounted to /Volumes when rebooting. Haven't found the problem yet, still researching. Anyone else...?

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Works for Applications
Authored by: gabester on Apr 08, '01 02:58:21AM

I used the tips here to successfully relocate the contents of my Applications folder to another drive.
As root I copied the contents of Applications to their new home, a volume named Apps, located in the path cocoa/Applications (this volume also has directories for carbon and classic programs). I had to make sure the ownerships matched, but I deleted my original /Applications folder, created the symlink, logged out and back in and it all worked. I'd expected maybe the dock icons to lose their touch, but yay, it was all good!

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Move the /Users folder
Authored by: to0l25 on Jan 09, '02 02:20:23PM
hi, i assume you want to move the folder /Users to the partition "Users":
su to root
ditto -v -rsrcFork /Users /Volumes/Users
mv /Users /Users-old
ln -s /Volumes/Users /Users
we found out some probs after this shifting, when creating a new user and log in as this one: - this user only has a Library and a Desktop folder - the permissions are 700 instead of 755 these folder are created during the login (you should recognize it because of the lag). so for the moment it's the best to create all users you need before you move the Users folder. I don't know, which script realize this folder creation, so if someone know please post. regards, c.

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Move the /Users folder
Authored by: sam452 on Feb 17, '03 08:48:35AM

Must be missing something. I've tried the "ditto" command and
the "cp -Rp" command.

I get the Users folder o nto my Volumes/Carmela no problem. It's
the permissions that show up as sam.unknown. I was using root
in the terminal to do the command ( I know because I see

I've used chown -R sam.staff while in the directory of "sam"
I've used "chown root:admin /Volumes/Carmela/Users; chmod
755 /Volumes/Carmela/Users"

I still have the directories listed as "sam.unknown"

I think I've copied the files wrong to lose ownership.

Pls point me in the right dir, thanx, sam

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Changes in autodiskmount for 10.1.2 as regards to moving mount points
Authored by: bjd14 on Jan 29, '02 02:41:15PM

Thanks nrich123 for your invaluable help in setting this up!

There seems to have been some changes made in where the automounter is activated in 10.1.2 (build 5P48). Here is what I had to do differently:

in /etc/hostconfig there was no variable called AUTODISKMOUNT, so i skipped the step of setting this variable to -NO-, of course.

instead the autodiskmount seems to be turned on in the /System/Library/StartupItems/Disks/Disks file at the top in the following lines:

# Mount any remaining filesystems

if [ ! -f /var/db/volinfo.database ]; then Uninitialized_VSDB=-YES-; fi

ConsoleMessage "Mounting media"

/sbin/autodiskmount -va

if [ "${Uninitialized_VSDB:=-NO-}" = "-YES-" ]; then vsdbutil -i; fi


If you add your custom mounting scheme to the end of this file,as nrich123 suggests, the system will still automount your disks onto /Volumes before it gets to your mount commands. So, in order to avoid this, add your mount commands before this section of the Disks file.

After doing this things have been working beautifully for me. Again, thanks for this invaluable advice nrich123.

Ben Dubin-Thaler

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Mount a sufolder as /User?
Authored by: witenoize on Feb 17, '02 04:20:21PM

I followed Nick & Ben's directions, and I was successful in mounting a partition on another hard drive as /User in 10.1.2.

My question: is there a way to mount a subfolder on that drive, so that I could organize the user folders together instead of them being at the root level of the drive?

As a UNIX newbie I do not know what would be involved...

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Mount a sufolder as /User?
Authored by: bjd14 on Feb 19, '02 03:09:46PM

You can make your mount point wherever you want. All you have to do is change the arguments in the 'mount' command to point to that directory.

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Mount a sufolder as /User?
Authored by: witenoize on Feb 19, '02 05:47:43PM

The line I am using in my library/startupitems/disks/disks file is:

mount -t hfs /dev/disk1s9 /Users

Which works fine as long as all users folders are at the root level of the drive.

There doesn't seem to be a way to add subfolders past the /dev/disk1s9/ which specifies a device. If I do, I get an error on startup (verbose mode) and it doesn't mount.

Any ideas?

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Not working in 10.2
Authored by: Homer72 on Nov 05, '02 06:04:42PM

The problem was the hostConfig file in the /etc/ directory did not contain the autodiskmount directive, it had automount which I changed to -NO-, and did everything else you suggested. I have 6 partitions and I only put in 2 to be mounted in the Disks file yet at start up all of them mounted. I made another /User/ directory but didn't leave it empty as you did instead I copied the admin account into it and onto the /Volumes/Users/ directory just in case it didn't work. It used the new /Users/admin directory on start up and not the old one on the /Volumes/Users/admin. Have you had to deal with this yet? Do you know of anything I might have done wrong?

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Relocating the 'Users' directory
Authored by: stevenjgarner on Nov 13, '03 04:35:35PM

Have I missed something - there's been nothing posted for so long on this, I'm wondering if there is now in Mac OS X 10.3.1 a definitive way to move the Users folder to another volume.

Well I followed some of the instructions in this thread, and moved the Users folder to another volume (called 'Data'). Everything has worked fine and I am able to add / delete users successfully. The only problem I am having is that when I restart the computer, some (not all) of the user's preferences are lost - in particular, the Appearance, Dock and Desktop pattern setting are all lost. Everything else customized under the System Preferences is fine. Any ideas?

The procedure I used (on Terminal) is:

cd /
sudo gnutar cf users.tar Users/
sudo mv users.tar /Volumes/Data/
cd /Volumes/targetvolume/
sudo gnutar xf users.tar
cd /
sudo mv Users Users-old
sudo ln -s /Volumes/Data/Users Users

I then logged out of the administrative user, and logged back in for the changes to take effect.

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