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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

My File Structure - Correct?


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rboseley

 
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Since day one, I have been “confused” by the OS X file structure. Once again, in my defense, I remind that I have spent the last 40 years dealing with MS-DOS.

How that things are up and running, and I’m getting the hang of Mac - I decided to dig a bit deeper into the file hierarchy. Still confused - in fact I am not sure my structure is correct.

At the top is [myname Macbook Pro] - containing Mac HD and Network.This may take some room - but here is the structure. Why does the Library file appear twice?

I still need to break down folders such as Excel, Word, Page, etc. further - but is this structure correct?

File Structure

RB’s Mac
Mac HD --- Applications
Net Downloaded
Library
System
User Guide
Users --------------- RB ----- Desktop SEE BELOW
Downloads
Household
Library
Movies
Music
Pictures
Public
Rescue Tool
Utilities


Documents

Excel Files
iChats
Madone SS
MS User Data
Movies/Videos --------- Divx Movies
Printer iMovie Projects
Numbers Files Real Play DL’s
Page Docs Veoh
PFD’s You Tube Downloads
Word Files

I still need to breakdown some Doc folders further - but does this look right?
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Andy_M

 
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Looks right to me, you just need to keep to "YOUR NAME" folder for safety seeming your new, saving into these is fine.

When I switched years ago I was thrown by the way Applications got installed.
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technologist

 
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The "correct" file structure is whatever works for you.

The only things you don't want to mess with are the System and Library folders, and the name and location of the User folders. (If you need a different account name, create a new account in System Preferences and delete the old one.)

Aside from those files folders, you are absolutely free to move, rename, Trash, change the icons of, and otherwise mutilate your files as you see fit. (Except in Texas, where they've passed laws about this, but anyway.)

Sometimes, a program will stop working if you move certain files that it wasn't expecting you to move. That's okay. That's how you learn about things. (A Time Machine backup helps here.) Other times, programs will re-create files that have been moved or deleted that they can't find.

99% of the time, again excepting those files used by the System, it really doesn't matter what you do with your fiiles.
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Nethfel

 
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The things like Library appearing twice is quite normal. Library under the root folder (looking at the finder, it's the one that appears if you open Macintosh HD) are global preferences and settings for apps.

The Library that appears under your user name is your personal folder that contains data and configurations specific to your account. Things like Calendar Data, your personal configuration data for keyboard, mouse settings, mobile me information, etc.

Both Libraries supply specific functions, so you don't want to delete one of them thinking you don't need it.

There is a base file structure that OSX expects to see - beyond that you're pretty free to do what you want. As you're coming from a DOS/Windows environment, think of it as similar to windows in the that windows expects to find certain things in certain places and if you just go blindly removing or moving base folders/files or it can cause windows to not function correctly.

Basically - don't be moving or deleting files or folders unless you know what it may or may not do to your system.

Under your personal directory, feel free to add folders under Documents, Downloads, your personal home directory, etc.

If you want to get a better feel for the system, and haven't already gotten it, I strongly suggest you look into getting:

Amazon.com: Mac OS X Leopard: The Missing Manual (9780596529529): David Pogue: Books

as I think it'll really help your understanding of the OS. I saw it in a bookstore ages ago, and when I first switched to Mac, and was reading posts saw that it was highly recommended, and bought it and it has been a tremendous help in the switch.

My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)
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rboseley

 
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Since day one, I have had some problems understanding the Mac file hierrarchy. 40 years of MS-DOS. Now that things are running along pretty well - I decided to dig a little deeper into the files. Following is my file structure. Why do I have two library files and two download files?

RD's Macbook Pro
Mac HD -------
Network
Applications
Downloads
Library
System
User Guides
Users --------------RB ---------
Shared
Desktop
Documents (see below)
Downloads
Household
Library
Movies
Music
Pictures
Public
Rescue Tool
Sites
Utilities
WP Files
You Tube Downloads


Documents -------
EXCEL Files
iChats
Madone SS
Microsoft User Data
Movies/Video -------------------
Printer
NUMBERS Files
PAGE Files
PFD's
WORD Files
Divx Movies
iMovie Porjects
Real Player DL's
Veoh
YouTube DL's

I still need to breakdown some folders into more meaningful ones - but why the two Library and Download Folders? My DL folder under Mac HD is empty - all go to the one users. Lastly, in the Applications folder are some folders relating to mostly downloaded apps. Could I move those folders out of Apps and into a new folder at the same structure level?

Does this look correct or do I have some duplicates or other errors?
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Nethfel

 
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Just out of curiosity - as your previous post - http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/swi...structure.html is on this near about identical topic - why did you repost instead of replying to your original post to which several people supplied you with more information? It's really hard to help when, instead of continuing a thread with appropriate commentary and understanding of what has been provided, you start a new thread on the same topic, except now you seem to have added folders to the root of your hard drive folder structure.

Please, read the responses in the other threads, and then if you are still having problems wrapping your head around them (which is understandable when you come from a very different OS structure), ask continuing questions about what you're not understanding to help us better help you.

The forums and the users here really are wonderful resources, but it's hard to help when there is a lack of feedback on the original question...

My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)
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bobtomay

 
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Note: Merged duplicate threads.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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Oneironaut

 
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Rbosely, I too have noticed that you don't seem to follow up on your posts.

You actually have three Library folders at different levels of operation.

From Library Folders - Switch To A Mac Guides:

"The /System/Library holds files that OS X needs to operate and function. These are some files tied to the operation an inner workings of the Mac OS X operating system. You shouldn't modify the contents of this folder.

The /Library folder contains files available to ALL users and applications running on OS X. These are shared and common files. For example, fonts and printer settings. This folder can be modified by the Administrative user. This is the folder where third-party software and applications place the support files that they need to operate.

The /Users/<short name of user> folder is user specific and holds files and settings as they relate to a user's individual's preferences, recent items, web site bookmarks, Address Book entries, keychain, Widgets, and so on."



Not sure about the Downloads folder, as I only have one in my home folder, not one under Macintosh HD. Is this how things are listed in your Finder? You either have an extra Downloads folder or you are mistaking a shortcut in the Finder for a second one.

What do you mean by breaking down folders into more meaningful ones? You can always create a new folder, name it, and place it wherever you want.

What do you mean you have folders in your Applications folder that relate to downloaded apps? Do you mean you want additional apps that you download from the internet to go into a different and separate location? Not sure why you'd want to do that in any case.
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mbohn

 
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It would be helpful to see the structure above what Finder shows, i.e. what you can see from the terminal. I'd like to understand the relationship between the full structure and what Finder shows. TIA
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Nethfel

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbohn View Post
It would be helpful to see the structure above what Finder shows, i.e. what you can see from the terminal. I'd like to understand the relationship between the full structure and what Finder shows. TIA
That may be a little more then he might be prepared to grasp as more folders will show under terminal then in finder by default as the default prefs make system and special folders hidden from the end user (ie: Volumes, bin, cores, sbin, etc.) Since the OP is already having some difficulty wrapping his head around the basic file structure shown in Finder - having him look at terminal to see a bunch of extra folders might throw him for a loop.

My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)
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mbohn

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethfel View Post
That may be a little more then he might be prepared to grasp as more folders will show under terminal then in finder by default as the default prefs make system and special folders hidden from the end user (ie: Volumes, bin, cores, sbin, etc.) Since the OP is already having some difficulty wrapping his head around the basic file structure shown in Finder - having him look at terminal to see a bunch of extra folders might throw him for a loop.
Agreed. I was really suggesting it as something that would help me. A thread hijack I suppose.
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rboseley

 
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Thanks for the responses. Actually I was not aware that I ever got the post posted. I had it formatted with indentions so that you could better understand it. Then when I previewed it - everything was left justified. And I certainly didn't mean to post it twice.

What I meant by breaking down - was say putting several subfolders under the PAGES folder to describe the subject of the document.

I still have several data files yet to bring over from the Dell. I wanted to make sure I understood first.

So - sorry for the poor post and repost. I guess I have the picture now - except video and movie downloads which need some rework.

If you are still with me, is there a way to save pictures directly from a web page? In Windows, right clicking over a pic gave the option to save pic as.

And, may as well ask - how do I get to the terminal? Thanks again all.
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Oneironaut

 
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You might be overcomplicating things, rbosely. Files work more or less the same way they do in Windows. You can create as many subfolders within folders as you want. Things just LOOK a little different in the Finder, but you can change it to look a little more like Windows.

Saving pictures is also pretty much the same. Just right click and choose "Save Image As" or you can drag it directly from a web page into a folder.

If you're not sure if one of your posts went through, just go to your profile and there'll be a list of your threads and posts. Did you ever see the video I made for you concerning Finder options?

YouTube - Mac OS X Finder Basics
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rboseley

 
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Oneironaut - Thanks tons for the video - very well done and instructive.

Sorry I didn't see it before. I most likely over do things - just my nature.

Due to circumstances beyond my control - I have had to approach this switch to Mac - a little now and a little later. Have not had the time to sit by the hour as I would normally do and figure things out.

Very much appreciate the input of all. Especially to respond to a post I didn't mean to post.
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Oneironaut

 
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That's cool, just be sure to track your posts from your profile page and let me know if you want to make any more videos for you! I love making them.
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