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Related: FileVault
Authored by: victory on Apr 19, '07 07:06:06AM

Ok, this isn't a general solution to the o.p.'s situation, but it's an option to consider if you want to move your user homedirs off of the root filesystem onto another volume (partition).

Use Filevault.

When you enable FileVault for a specific user (say 'userone'), OSX will create a hidden dir in /Users named .userone . In that dir will be the encrypted disk image (userone.sparseimage) that normally gets mounted under /Users/userone when they first log in. The neat thing is that there's nothing to prevent you from logging in under another privileged account and creating a symlink from /Users/.userone to any directory anywhere on your system (yes, even on another volume/partition) that holds userone.sparseimage.

I've been using this technique on my PowerBook ever since FileVault first appeared in (10.3?) until the present (10.4.9) with zero problems. Admittedly, I started using FileVault for the security benefits, but it turns out that having my userdir (as a FileVault disk image file) on a different partition makes it faster for me to do targeted backups on specific parts of the system (e.g. a system backup that only backs up the root partition, a users backup that backups up the location that contains all the FileVault user disk-image files, etc).

Anyhow, just something to consider if you're already using FileVault (or are willing to consider using it despite some of the disadvantages (i.e. disk I/O performance, etc)

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