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I currently have a mac, running Mac OS X, with one hard drive. My home directory is encrypted with FileVault and then I have a /Users/Shared that is not encrypted and is readable by other users (i.e.: my wife).

I'm considering going to a dual hard drive setup to have an SSD as boot (maybe a 40GB drive) while still containing a big disk (500GB) for the rest of the data. That means that now my home would be in a very tiny drive.

What are my options to have a sensible layout? Can I mount the big drive as /Users? Can I move the encrypted image to the other drive? both?

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Under System Preferences if you choose a login and right-click on it for Advanced Options you get a form including a field giving the path name to its home directory.

So you can put your users on the large drive, using as example /Volumes/SecondDrive/x

An alternative I have used is to make a symbolic link from /Users/mark to the other drive - does mean that the sloppy bad programming way of getting the home directory would work. However I doubt FileVault would work here.

  • I was advised against it saying some apps may not understand the home being somewhere else and I was also told that the encrypted image is not the /Users directory, so moving it won't help there. Any ideas? – pupeno Jun 4 '10 at 10:25
  • See edit for dealing with badly written programs. I don't understand your comment here re FileVault – user151019 Jun 4 '10 at 10:37
  • When you encrypt /Users/pupeno, files are not stored in /Users/pupeno anymore, they are stored in an disk image. If the disk image is in /var/encrypted_images/, then no matter where /Users is, the data will end up in the primary disk. – pupeno Jun 4 '10 at 12:12
  • Perhaps you can delete /var/encrypted_images and make it a link to the other disk – user151019 Jun 4 '10 at 14:59
  • Yes, if I find it. – pupeno Jun 5 '10 at 9:03

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