How do I set up Snow Leopard so that my user's folder resides in a separate partition?
I want to do this so that when I format my main partition i don't have to backup and restore the user directory.
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
Preferences -> Accounts, right click on account, and select
Home directoryto the new location
Steps 1 and 5 are the additions that prompted my posting of a separate answer from knweiss's largely correct, but incomplete, answer. They are important in that it can be darned confusing if the change doesn't stick or your account is reverted for some reason (re-install and migration has done it to me).
This works just fine under Snow Leopard; I have been running with this configuration throughout the development of Snow Leopard. It even works with FileVault.
To permanently move the entire Users folder you will have to get your hands dirty in the terminal!
Assuming your first partition is called HD1 second partition is called HD2:
sudo bash [enter password] mv /Users /Volumes/HD2/Users ln -s /Volumes/HD2/Users /Users
We simply move the contents of the Users folder to the second partition and create a soft symbolic link to the location. The advantage here is that you only have to do it the once for as many accounts as you need.
Once you have reinstalled and reformatted just do:
sudo bash rm -rf /Users ln -s /Volumes/HD2/Users /Users
OS X may not like having the users folder moved so you may have to do it in target disk mode from another Mac.