Monday, March 30, 2015

Apple Tips and Tricks Vol 3

Continuation of Apple Tips and Tricks.  In this volume will be covering Apple File structure (OS X).  This one is a little more in depth as such only topic for this post.

Apple File structure (OS X)

As we deploy more and more Apple devices in our enviroment understanding the file structure has become a huge need.  Understanding Apple OS X is a necessity when deploying software or troubleshooting user issues.

   Structure

  • Four (4) key areas or domains to remember
    • Per-User (~) / User's home directory: /users
      • Contains folder for each user that has been setup on machine
    • Per-Machine (local/root): / 
      • Top level of hard drive
    • Local Area network: /Network
      • As it states networked devices / drives
    • Apple-provided/managed: /System
      • Should only contain Apple files / folders
      • Similar to Window's System folder


   Per-User (~) / User Domain

  • Location: /users
  • Folder for each setup user on machine
  • Note the use of "~" represents current logged in user
  • User's folders consists of: 
    • Applications, Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Movies, Music, Pictures, Public
    • Similar to Window's Users folders
  • Default location for Apple to store user files
  • Contains hidden folder that contains user's preference folder: /users/[username]/library
    • Two ways to access: 
      1. Go To Folder
        • Open Finder
        • Click "Go" on menu bar
        • Click "Go To Folder"
        • Enter directory path: /users/[username]/library
          • e.g. /users/admin/library
      2. Go + Option
        • Open Finder
        • Click "Go" on menu bar
        • Hold down Option key
        • Click Library
    • Huge thing to remember about User's Preferences (/users/[username]/library/preferences) is it trumps Per-Machine / Network and even System preference lists (plists)
      • Apple start plist search here and stops if match is found
      • Opposite of Window's Group Policy where Domain trumps local
   Per-Machine / Local Domain

  • Location: /
    • Top level of hard drive
    • Displays contents of hard drive
    • Similar to Window's C:\
    • Key folder to remember here is the Library
      • Just like User folder above contains Preferences folder (plists)
      • Remember trumped by user's Preferences but trumps Network and system
      • Sometimes referred to as the "Public" Library

   Local Area Network / Network Domain

  • Location: /Network
    • As it states networked devices / drives
    • If present can contain Library folder
      • Just like User and Machine folder contains Preferences folder (plists)
      • Remember trumped by user's and machine Preferences but trumps system
      • Sometimes referred to as the "Public" Library

   System / System Domain

  • Location: /System
    • Should only contain Apple files / folders
    • Similar to Window's System folder
References:

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