I have a couple of questions:

  1. On PC I can get the username from the environment variable USERNAME and on LINUX it is USER - what the MAC equivalent?

  2. The users local area on windows can be found via the registry (or equivalent) , on LINUX you type ~ at the command prompt - what is the MAC equivalent?

Note I would like to extract these from environment variables if possible (from code).

e.g. I want to create a file in the users home area on MAC > how would I build the following variable -:

This is what I think it is - can anyone confirm (note I dont currently have a MAC in front of me to test it...)

% e.g.
userName = getenv ( 'USER' );  
userLocalArea = '~/Library/Preferences/';
filename = fullfile ( userLocalArea, userName );

In the end the language I am doing this in is Matlab - but its a pretty general question...


You don't actually need the user name to put something in their home structure.

Simply starting ~/ will direct it to their home, so ~/Library/ will go to the current user's
[Boot Drive]/Users/[User Name]/Library/.

If you need to install for all users, use /Library/ instead.

I guess it's the equivalent of Windows' %appdata%/

If you really need the name & folder …

    or userName=$(user)

After tests, there seems to be some inconsistency - these work better in Terminal… as some calls don't appear to work in both upper & lower case, it looks like upper case is a safer 'rule'. Someone smarter than me will have to fill in why some work in brackets & some don't.

    or userName=$USER

That will get their shortname & home folder

Not sure how to get longname without osascript…

osascript -e "long user name of (system info)"

This all assumes your install is being done by the currently logged user.

  • Hi thanks - I want to extract the [USER NAME] for other reasons than obtaining the home structure. If I follow it is the environment variable `logname' or 'user' (is it case sensitive?) – matlabgui Apr 29 '15 at 8:06
  • It's not normally something I play in, so just doing some tests which seem a bit confusing to me, though idk the underlying reason… echo $(logname) works upper or lower; echo $(user) doesn't work at all, neither does echo $logname but echo $LOGNAME does; echo $user works either case; echo $(home) or echo$(HOME) doesn't work, echo $home doesn't, yet echo $HOME does work. – Tetsujin Apr 29 '15 at 8:18
  • I tweaked the answer - I really am not sure why one syntax works for one call yet not another. – Tetsujin Apr 29 '15 at 8:27

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