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?


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

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.