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Can I move /library and/applications to a hard drive thusfreeing up space on my ssd?

3326 Views 29 Replies Latest reply: Sep 23, 2013 6:22 PM by Grant Bennet-Alder RSS
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,110 points)

    Thank YOU for your excellent Web site, "Apple  OSX  and  Time  Machine  Tips". 


    I post a link to one or the other of your wonderful illustrated guides about once a week, on average:




    Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), & Server, PPC, & AppleTalk Printers
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
  • Hector Castillo Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    Grant Bennet-Alder


    Pretty interesting posts, i have a mac mini server running mountain lion using server app and 2 imacs running mountain lion as clients, i also have a Pegasus R4 thunderbolt for data storage, i currently have all users home folders on pegasus data storage drive, my user account freezes pretty often, mail app locks up for a few seconds as soon as i open it, I am wonder if home folders should not be on data storage drive, this set up is at my house, i am trying to do a similar set up as a school envioroment,  where my son and daughters are not fighting to sit on a specific iMac.


    I ran some tests veryfing disk on data storage drive while a user was logged in and it came with errors and says that disk needs to get repair, as soon as i logged out from user, verify disk says that disk is ok, it happens the samething on all users.


    Here is the list of errors i got on the Pegasus data storage drive

    Journal need to be replaced but volume is read only

    Incorrect number of extended attributes

    Volume bitmap needs minor repair for under –allocation

    The volume data was found corrupt and needs to be replaced


    I created a test user with home folder residing on mac mini server itself and logged in to test user and ran verify disk and cameback with no errors, so this makes me think that home folders should be on mac mini server itself instead of data storage drive, what do you think?


    Also, this is what i get as far as permissions


    Below is the permissions on test user (home folder in mac mini)



    Testuser=read and write

    Staff= read only

    Others = read only


    Here are the permissions (home folders on data storage drive)



    Local_admin=read and write

    Staff=read only

    Others=read only


    Also, i need to restart server pretty often because user lockinn up, mail app asking to rebuild, users not been able to login, etc, as soon as i restart server everything works fine without rebuilding mail or doing anything else.


    Could you tell me where home folders should be at?, i really need a realiable network.


    If I have home folders on mac mini server, probably would run out of space pretty quick, maybe home folders on mac mini server and pictures, movies, documents, downloads, etc on data storage drive? Is this feasible?


    I really would appreciate your comments on best way to set my network users home folders, any other information that you may need please let me know.





  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,110 points)

    Hector Castillo-


    School Server Admins have been driven completely crazy by slow performance until they took these two important steps:


    1) Upgrade the Ethernet network to GigaBit Ethernet cabling and Switches. Your Router is NOT involved in routine WorkStation<-->Server transfers, so it can remain at a slower speed, provided the local data can proceed at GigaBit speeds. Gigabit Ethernet provides "near Hard Drive" data speeds. Wifi is at least three times slower, and may not provide adequate speeds for this arrangement.


    GigabIt Ethernet requires that all cables have all eight contacts terminated in the connectors. /Utilities/Network will report the Actual connection speed in its Info Pane.


    2) Change Network Users Cache location to the local WorkStation (default is ~/Library/Caches -- in the Home Directory, which is On the Server). I provided a discussion and some Instructions above under the Redirecting Caches heading. The manifests to implement this are present, but hidden in WorkGroup Manager.


    Otherwise you open a web page, part of it is cached (by default on the Server) part of it is re-drawn (from the cache on the Server), and Everything you do is dependent on a now VERY Busy link to the Server. If you have not also implemented Gigabit Ethernet Switches, everything slows to a crawl and the BeachBall appears on the WorkStations.




    Server is not a compute problem, it is an I/O Problem. Having the fastest pathways reasonably possible and moving the Cache locations back onto the Workstations are the crucial steps to restore performance.


    Your Account setups an a data drive look fine, provided that link is also as fast as possible.




    You may be accumulating Errors on that Pegasus storage Subsytem. I suggest trying to boot the Server into Safe Mode (so that the Server Software is not competing with attempted Repairs) and running Disk Utility (Repair Disk). As you know, this can take HOURS for a large storage System. If it is a RAID, check the RAID Status to be sure the RAID is not Degraded. And make sure your Backups are current!

    Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), &amp; Server, PPC, &amp; AppleTalk Printers
  • Hector Castillo Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    Grant Bennet-Alder


    Thanks a lot for your help, I do have GigaBit ethernet switches and cabling, mac mini server and iMacs are wired connected, current Link Speed 1Gbit/s on network utility info pane.


    I am kind of green on computers staff, and do not understand very well on how to change network users cache location to the local workstation, can you explain in a easier understanding for a green person.


    I am also using prfile manager, not using workgroup manager that much, I do have workgroup manager on mac mini server but using it a lot less everytime since apple is recommending to start using profile manager.


    Now that you mention cache, everytime I call Apple they clean the cache in my user and works better for a few days but then starts freezing again and  they said that maybe the root of the problem is in on the pegasus data storage drive, on Pegasus utility evreything looks fine.


    Thanks again for your help.


    Hector Castillo

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,110 points)

    This approachable paper originally by John DeTroye  is helpul:



    There does not seem to be a way to do this with Profile Manager, at least not that I could find immediately. The other approaches are More complicated, because they use a LoginHook (a script of Terminal commands that runs, as if as root, at login).

    Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), &amp; Server, PPC, &amp; AppleTalk Printers
  • Hector Castillo Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    Grant Bennet-Alder


    I found this link, is this the excact same think you are talking about?



    Will cach be move to either iMac (clients) that we log in with our network username?


    Can I do this on workgroup manager on server using screen sharing logged in as local Admin on a client iMac?


    I just want to make sure I do it correctly.





  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,110 points)

    Yes, that is the same stuff. I saw his post when I was looking for user-friendly directions for doing this, but I did not find his directions as approachable as the one provided in John DeTroye's document for the case I was originally making (local control of a non-Network User).



    Can I do this on workgroup manager on server using screen sharing logged in as local Admin on a client iMac?



    For your use in a Server environment, which computer runs Workgroup Manager does not matter -- from wherever you are running WorkGroup Manager, you point it at the Server-based directory at, and authenticate as the Admin (unlock the lock icon) which requires Server Admin access.


    Workgroup Manager is very non-intrusive way to inspect things, and it does no modifications at all until you use the (Save) button. You are free to go in and poke around all over the place, which I encourage you to do.


    I manage mine as a User Preference, because I wanted to try it out for myself only, then add other users one at a time, setting that option for each User who might need it. On a school-wide system, User-by-User gets out of hand quickly, so one would want to use Computer groups instead (but that is more complicated for you).

    Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), &amp; Server, PPC, &amp; AppleTalk Printers
  • Hector Castillo Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    Grant Bennet-Alder


    We have created multiple home folders with the same short name on the mac mini local user folder, network user folder and the external data drive network user folder for testing purposes.  Could this be causing any issues?  Should we just delete them or rename them?  Of course there is only one active network user being pointed to the folder with multiple short names, using the server app. 


    The other question I have is how to boot the server into safe mode and can it be done with a headless server and with wireless keyboard and mouse?


    Currently I am using a new home folder and only have access to my imap email.  Should I migrate all of my data (itune library, iphoto, document, desktop items) from the previous folder to my current folder.  Then set up Cache Redirection on the new home folder?  Or set up Cache redirection on the old home folder and repoint to it?  And possibly trash the Cache folder?


    Thank you for all of your help.


    Hector Castillo

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,110 points)

    We have created multiple home folders with the same short name ...  Could this be causing any issues? 

    THE Home folder for a Network User is the one listed in their WorkGroup Manager profile. Any others are folder that happen to have the same name.



    How to boot the Server into Safe Mode

    The standard way is to hold down the Shift key at Startup. I believe with a wireless keyboard, the timing is to do this at the end of the Chime.


    ...Can be done on a headless Server?

    Sure, but you don't get to see what happens on screen unless you can activate Screen Sharing. It will do the Disk Utility (Repair Disk) on the Boot Volume as it comes up. I do not know whether Screen Sharing is supported in Safe Mode, but I do not expect it to be dependent on extensions, so maybe it is.



    What to do about the Cache folder?

    Remeber that Cache, by definition, is temporary, expandable, stuff NOT expected to still be there when you log in later.


    The first setting (delete and link to the new Cache in /tmp on the local Mac) will remove whatever is in cache when you log in, and replace it with a link to the local Machine's /tmp. You do not have to keep track of anything.

    Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), &amp; Server, PPC, &amp; AppleTalk Printers
  • Hector Castillo Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    Grant Bennet-Alder, Here is what we did and the results.  First we booted the server into Safe mode and ran verify disk on the data storage drive. It came back with no errors.  Then we did a repair disk on data storage drive.  It came back with no errors.


    Then we did a verify disk on server hd and it had no errors.  Then we did verify permissions on server hd and it came back with errors. Below is a screen shot of the errors:


    Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 12.38.40 PM.png


    Then we did a repair permissions on server hd.  Below is the screen shots of them:

    Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 12.45.16 PM.pngScreen Shot 2013-09-17 at 12.46.13 PM.pngScreen Shot 2013-09-17 at 12.47.00 PM.png

    Could you please review the errors and let me know what you think we should do or check next?  We are planning to do the cache redirection in the morning.  Would you reccommend doing the cache redirection on the old user (the one that freezes as soon as I log in all the time)? Or on the new user and migrate all of the data from the old user to the new user?



  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,110 points)

    So it was able to repair anything that was wrong. That seems good.


    It did repair permissions on the ldap databae (where network Account information is stored.) This may reduce any random problems you are having with user Accounts.


    As for which copy of each users files to use, just leave them all in place until you decide which copy you like best as a start, then add any missing files by copying from the other locataions. You may want to wait a few days before deleting any extra copies of things, in case a User is missing something.

    Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), &amp; Server, PPC, &amp; AppleTalk Printers
  • Hector Castillo Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    HI Grant Bennet-Alder,


    I did the cache folder redirection this morning.  So far when logged into the network user that had the issue the imac has not locked up completely.  However I have noticed a few episode of app slowing down and the beach ball appearing for a few seconds.  It has happened using mail, safari, imessage and contacts.  Which are the apps I mainly use.  For example when I send an Imessage and click the send button it will take about 5 seconds before for it will show up as a sent message.  Also when switching who I am Imessaging I get the beach ball.  It does not happen all of the time.


    One consistant issue is one I have in mail app that I did not have while using the test home folder.  As you know when you click the mail app it will open and download the latest emails and tell you how many are unread in a red oval on the top of the mail app icon.  Just so you know I am using an Imap email account.  While it is updating the number of unread emails the mail app appears to be locked up and I get the beach ball.  It lasts for a few (5-10 seconds) and then starts to work fine.  Another thing that will happen is after I type up an email and click send it will hesitate for a few seconds before it accually sends the email.  So it feels like when ever I go to to something it is putting a big strain on the computer and slows down and the beach ball appears.  What I can not figure out is why it only happens to my network user account.  I do not have anything autostarting nor any special programs running.  Can you tell me what or where I should look for to find the issue in this home folder?


    I think this issue is why we have been creating the new test users for me.  So instead of creating new users and migrating data I really would like to get to the root of the problem and fix it.


    Thank you for all of your help.  I really appreciate it.


    Hector Castillo

  • Hector Castillo Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    Hi Grant Bennet-Alder,


    My client iMacs are working like never before, definetly the cache redirection works great and speeds up network users.


    We found the spinning wheel issue on Mail app caused by some messages in my mailbox with the help of apple enterprise.


    I am using my network user account  that used to locked up and works very good.


    Thanks a lot for your help.



  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (48,110 points)

    That sounds great!

    Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), &amp; Server, PPC, &amp; AppleTalk Printers
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