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  1. #1
    Documents & Documents in Finder
    Tomos's Avatar
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    Documents & Documents in Finder
    First of all I hope this is the correct place to ask this question.If no sorry.
    on my MacBook in finder I have a Documents Folder and the icon that looks like a small house with my name on.
    What should be in the Documents folder the one with the small house and what should be in the other Documents folder.
    Does I mean that what ever I got in the documents with the small house don't go into the icloud?.
    Been getting a little confused here.
    Been watching some tutorials on YouTube regarding using MacBook as a new user.
    Hope you can understand my question.
    Thanks David.
    David
    Passwords should be like a tooth brush renew every three months

  2. #2
    Documents & Documents in Finder
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    David, the small house is your home folder. In my system, it is not named "Documents" but with my user name. The icon has nothing to do with whether or not a given document goes to the cloud.

    What version of the OS are you running? You can find that by clicking on the Apple icon in the upper left corner, then About This Mac.
    Jake

  3. #3
    Documents & Documents in Finder
    Tomos's Avatar
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    Many thanks for your reply.
    OS is Catalina fully updated.
    So the folder with the little house is for what purpose?.I have some documents in there which should be in the folder Marked Documents.
    David
    Passwords should be like a tooth brush renew every three months

  4. #4
    Documents & Documents in Finder
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    OK, thanks. A bit of background. macOS is based on Linux, which, in turn, is based on Unix. As such, it is capable of having multiple users, each with their own account. In a true multi-user environment, all of the users can be logged in at the same time, sharing the machine resources. macOS has multiple users, but only one at a time can be active. For security, no user can see another user's data.

    The types of users are Admins, who can make changes to the system (install, un-install applications, perform system functions), or Users, who can't make system changes but who can make changes to the files they create themselves. There is a third kind of user, SuperUser or Root, who has even more authority over the system than an Admin, but that access is very restricted and not available to the typical user on macOS.

    Ok, with that background, the house icon says that that folder is yours, you own it, you control it, you can add/delete/modify anything in it. it's yours. And no other user can get to it unless you decide to share something in it deliberately. So if you create a new account on your system and then log into that account, you'll see the house icon for THAT account, but your current account will just look like a regular folder, but with the "do not enter" sign on it to say "you don't own that folder!"

    The organization of your home folder is entirely up to you. If you have documents in the home folder that should be in your Documents subfolder, feel free to move them there. They are yours, you have full control over them. Note that one of the folders in the Home folder is labelled "Desktop." That is where YOUR desktop is kept, with what you want on your desktop there. You don't have access to anybody else's Desktop and they cannot access yours.

    If you are curious about how things are organized, open Finder and on the Sidebar look for Macintosh HD, or whatever your drive is labelled. Or, if Macintosh HD is on the desktop, open it there. You will see four folders there named Applications, Library, System and Users. If you open Users, you will see Guest, if you have authorized it, Your login folder (with the house), Shared and any other User you have created. If you try to open one of the other users, other than Guest or Shared, you will see that you do not have access to the folders within.

    I would recommend that if you have not already done so, that you create a new account with Admin access as an emergency user. Put nothing there, add no software, don't change it in any way. That way if something happens to your account you can try to log into that emergency account to see if you can repair whatever went wrong. I have one, called "Master," on my system for just that purpose.

    Now, for iCloud and what goes there, open System Preferences and click on the "Apple ID" icon at the top of the window. In the sidebar will be "iCloud" and if you click that, the right window will open to show what apps are using iCloud. One of the items on the list is "iCloud Drive" which has an "Options" box. Click that box and you can configure what you want to be stored in the cloud. Personally, I don't have "Desktop & Documents Folders" checked because I do NOT want my documents in the cloud. But I do allow other things access to iCloud Drive so that they can sync between my Mac and iDevices.

    When you have it set how you want, click "Done" and the original iCloud window re-appears. Below the list of things using iCloud will be a checkbox labeled "Optimize Mac Storage." If you check that, then to save drive space the system will move items from your Home folder to iCloud Drive, leaving behind just a pointer to where that file is actually stored (in the cloud). I think most of us here would recommend against checking the box. The challenge with it is that it is easy to accidentally delete things from the Cloud, thinking you have it on the local machine, when in fact you do not have it there and it's gone, forever.

    So, that's a long explanation of a short question. Hope that helps some.
    Jake

  5. #5
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    IWT's Avatar
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    Brilliant explanation, Jake.

    Ian
    Ian

  6. #6
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    Tomos's Avatar
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    Jake.
    That was brilliant reading that has answered my question that's been in my mind for a while.
    Got it all now.
    Thanks ever so much for all your help.Great Guns
    David.
    David
    Passwords should be like a tooth brush renew every three months

  7. #7
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    A bit of background. macOS is based on Linux, which, in turn, is based on Unix.
    @Jake:

    I hope you have that backwards.... macOS is based on Unix and so is Linux.

    From Wikipedia:

    macOS is based on the Unix operating system and on technologies developed between 1985 and 1997 at NeXT, a company that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs created after leaving Apple in 1985. ... macOS shares its Unix-based core, named Darwin, and many of its frameworks with iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and watchOS.


  8. #8
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    Charlie, What I said was in error, but I'm not sure the article where you got that from Wikipedia has that right either. Unix was developed by the AT&T Bell laboratory in the 1960s and 70s from a system called Multics. Bell Labs was frustrated at the limits of Multics, so they withdrew from a joint venture for that system and built the original UNIX system. Here is Wiki on that: History of Unix - Wikipedia

    Linus Torvalds developed Linux in the 1990s (I remember using Linux 0.90 in the middle 90s myself). Linus made no mystery that his goal was to have his operating system work like Unix, but to be open source and free as opposed to the closed system from Bell, even though Bell had started out giving it away for free, too. Torvalds intent was to develop the operating system with NO code from Unix at all, to avoid any intellectual property issues. Originally, Torvalds proposed the name "Freax" to emphasize the Free aspect of Open Source, but a collaborator and the man who ran the server for the project named the folder "linux" and the name stuck.

    You can find the history of Linux if you go to this article at Wikipedia: Linus Torvalds - Wikipedia

    From the Wikipedia article I cited earlier on the history of Unix:

    In 1997, Apple sought a new foundation for its Macintosh operating system and chose NeXTSTEP, an operating system developed by NeXT. The core operating system, which was based on BSD and the Mach kernel, was renamed Darwin after Apple acquired it. The deployment of Darwin in Mac OS X makes it, according to a statement made by an Apple employee at a USENIX conference, the most widely used Unix-based system in the desktop computer market.

    Meanwhile, Unix got competition from the copyleft Linux kernel, a reimplementation of Unix from scratch, using parts of the GNU project that had been underway since the mid-1980s. Work on Linux began in 1991 by Linus Torvalds; in 1998, a confidential memo at Microsoft stated, "Linux is on track to eventually own the x86 UNIX market," and further predicted, "I believe that Linux – moreso than NT – will be the biggest threat to SCO in the near future."
    So, the sequence was Unix, then Linux, with macOS coming from a branch of the original kernel developed by BSD. So Darwin is basically from Unix (BSD) as opposed to System V, the UNIX that was developed by Sun. However, for a while when Novell was involved, along with SCO and BSD, the water got muddy as allegations were flying that the more recent implementations of Linux had Unix code embedded. Last I heard, a court had ruled that Linux was not infringing on either BSD or SCO.

    What is interesting is that HPU/X, AIX and RedHat are now the top three Linux implementation for businesses, and none are free. (There is a free version of RedHat called Fedora, for individual use.)

    Bottom line, the lineage is tangled. I guess a better way to say it would be Unix came first, then BSD and Mach, then NeXSTEP merged those last two, then OS X and macOS. Still all based on the ideas of UNIX.
    Jake

  9. #9
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    Tomos's Avatar
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    Sorry Didn't understand last posting.
    David
    David
    Passwords should be like a tooth brush renew every three months

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomos View Post
    Sorry Didn't understand last posting. David
    That's okay David. Jake was just going over some facts about the creation of Unix, macOS, and Linux.

    Good information as usual from Jake.

  11. #11
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    Randy B. Singer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomos View Post
    ...
    on my MacBook in finder I have a Documents Folder and the icon that looks like a small house with my name on.
    Been getting a little confused here.
    It's simple, but takes some explanation.

    The Mac OS is a multi-user system. In arranges things as Yours, Mine and Ours. Even if you are the only user of your Macintosh, things are still arranged this way.

    Every Macintosh has AT LEAST TWO (and maybe more) Applications folders. They will all be named "Applications." These are not duplicates.

    One Applications folder resides just inside of your hard drive icon. This is where applications reside that are available to every user who uses your computer. If you get a new application, and you want everyone who has an account on your computer to have access to it, this is where you install it.

    Just inside of your hard drive icon (assuming you have set up your Mac to show the hard drive as an icon on the desktop) is a folder called Users. Inside that folder are icons with the user names of everybody who has an account on your Macintosh (each user's folder will look like a house). If only one person (you) uses your Macintosh, then there is only an icon with your name on it. If more than one person uses your Mac, but you have only set up one user account on your Mac, then there is still only one icon in that folder with a user's name. There will be as many icons with user's names on them in the Users folder if there have been separate user accounts set up on your Macintosh.

    If you open the icon for any user in the Users folder, you will find another Applications folder inside. In that folder are applications which have been installed only for the use of that particular user.

    So...let's say that there are two user name icons in the Users folder. John and Mary. You go into the icon for the user named "John", and in his Applications folder is the application BBEdit. You check in Mary's icon, and there is no copy of BBEdit in her Applications folder. Also, if you check in the Applications folder for everyone (just inside of the hard drive icon) there is no copy of BBEdit in there.

    If you go up to the Apple Menu and choose Log Out John, and then log back in with Mary's user name and password, you will find that you have no access to the application BBEdit. If you log out Mary and log back in as John, you will have access to BBEdit.

    Alternately, if you simply put BBEdit into the Application folder for everyone (just inside of the hard drive icon), BBEdit will be available to anyone, no matter who logs in.

    It's exactly the same for the Documents folder, the Utilities folder, etc.

    Yours, Mine and Ours. Mary's, John's and Everybody's. Anyone can sit down at your Macintosh and log into their account (assuming that one has been created for them), and your Mac instantly becomes *their Mac*. In this way your Mac protects everyone's personal stuff from anyone else using the same Mac.
    Randy B. Singer
    Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
    Mac OS X Routine Maintenance • http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

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