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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Dec 24, 2011
    CAn someone explain libraries?
    I would like to know more about how the libraries work on the Mac OS. I see libraries in the root level then in the system level and then again in the user level. Sometimes the same "element" is in two or more of the libraries? Is this necessary?

    My interest is this. I have a new Mac Mini. My old mini is running OS 10.4.11 and my new mini is running the latest Snow Leopard (don't know the version numbers yet) and I have items in the old libraries that might be useful on the new mini.

    Can I play with moving some items to the newer libraries?

    I guess I am assuming they are settings in them or profile specific elements maybe?

    Thank you, happy holidays. The reindeer have left so I am up again.

  2. #2

    louishen's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 22, 2007
    Mac Mini Core i7 2012 | White 2009 MacBook 2 Ghz | 733 Mhz G4 Quicksilver
    I wouldn't mess about with the libraries unless you really know what you are doing

    What do you really want to move, Applications or mail?
    Member of the Month September 2008 & August 2012 | Found advice useful? use the rep system

  3. #3

    chas_m's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2010
    Victoria, BC
    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    In addition to what louishen said, I would add "pay no attention to the libraries. They aren't for you."

    UNIX is by its nature a multi-user system, and the OS itself is one of the users (in a sense). So the System has a Library file (which you must NEVER EVER TOUCH), the root directory has a Library file (required for Root User status, again NEVER EVER) and then you have your own Library file in your home folder (which is not quite a NEVER EVER but more of a LEAVE IT ALONE).

    90 percent of what's in any of these libraries is the preferences and settings for various applications. Which library those files go into depend on whether the preferences and settings are specific to each user (they usually are) or in some cases universal (those go in the root directory Library) or in some cases vital to the functioning of the OS (the System's Library folder).

    None of these libraries is going to be a terribly big file (except your Mail, since that is actually stored in your User library). Unless you enjoy losing data and reinstalling your system, you really REALLY should not "play with" "move around" or otherwise deal with ANYTHING in ANY of the Library folders. If you're looking to save space, look elsewhere.

  4. #4

    toMACsh's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 30, 2009
    Mac Mini Core 2 Duo
    Quote Originally Posted by beachmonk View Post
    Can I play with moving some items to the newer libraries?

    I guess I am assuming they are settings in them or profile specific elements maybe?
    Fuggetaboutit. Your apps will create whatever files they need on the new Mac.

  5. #5

    robduckyworth's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2011
    Reading, UK
    15" MBP, 2.5GHz i7, 750GB, 6770M 1GB, iPad 3, iPhone 4, custom PC
    Consider installing an application like AppTrap, which removes unwanted folders from your Library folder when uninstalling applications. this will help you save space.
    If you find a post helpful, don't forget to use the reputation system (top right of post.)
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  6. #6

    Member Since
    Dec 24, 2011
    Thank you.
    All these thoughts are appreciated, AND I GET IT!!

    No I am not worried about getting space on my HD just wondering about migrating to a new MAC mini from an old mac mini. Tried migration assistant and setup assistant but neither will keep an ethernet connection. Migration Assistant sees the target/new mac but then drops when looking for information. I have moved most items through file sharing. Also I do not have a new firewire adapter to connect both via firewire.

    OK so my MAIN purpose in understanding libraries is that I want to move my mail folders (A considerable organization for the past 5+ years) and messages within them from my old mac mini (G4 OS 10.4.11 lastest mail possible for that OS version) to my new mac mini (Intel, Snow leopard, latest mail available to snow leopard). This group of files is stored in my User Level Library. Can these be moved to my new Mac User level library without harm?

    Or is there a better way to migrate my mail to my new mac!?

    Happy Holidaze!

  7. #7

    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 16, 2009
    North Louisiana, USA
    2.8 GHz MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone 6+
    Those can be moved over. In fact I thought Migration Assistant had an option to move them for you.
    Try saving the old mail somewhere where the new machine can "see" it. Leave the folder structure intact. In the new version of Mail there is anImport Mailboxes command that should let you pull the information into the new program.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

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