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Mac - Change save location of documents and desktop

Posted on 2014-10-03
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Last Modified: 2014-10-08
Hello,

Out company is planning on using Dropbox for sharing and also as a backup of sorts (I know not ideal) for desktops. On the PCs we are going to relocate the My Documents and desktop folders into the Dropbox folder which seems to be pretty easy, clean and basically transparent to the users.

We'd like to do the same thing with the Macs, but the only thing we can see is how to move the home folder which has its own issues. Is there any way to accomplish this same thing on the Macs without moving the home folder?

If I do end up needing to move the home folder, whats the best way to get the folder into the Dropbox folder and have it be clean for the users? i.e they keep all their settings and files.

Thanks
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Question by:willp2
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Eoin OSullivan earned 500 total points
ID: 40360067
You cannot really move the entire Documents folder into the Dropbox folder as it's default location is inside the users Documents folder and you'd be in a recursive loop.

What you could do is move the dropbox folder to the ROOT of the users home folder ... put a symlink to the Desktop and Documents folders into the Dropbox folder and theoretically it should then copy /sync the contents of the Desktop and Documents with Dropbox .. but overall it seems like a very poor idea using Dropbox as a quasi-online backup solution.  A proper backup system with TimeMachine or Mozy or one of 100 other options would be preferable.

If you want to SHARE data it is better to have proper shared folders in Dropbox which people subscribe to ... and not put their entire home documents and desktop folder online as there may be aliases and bookmarks and shortcuts  etc which have no place in a shared folder as they will only work on the Mac itself.
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by:willp2
ID: 40360095
Thanks, I'll take a look at it.

I think the idea they are working with is that since they are getting basically the whole company on Dropbox now and there is no backup for desktops, just sync everything. It's better than no backup without having to add another separate system or cost. I'm not crazy about it, but I can't argue that it will offer some level of backup that they don't have now.
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by:serialband
ID: 40367306
I echo eoinosullivan's comment about using anything but dropbox.
http://online-storage-service-review.toptenreviews.com/

If your company cares about security at all, dropbox is not the way to go at all.  They are not encrypted and have exposed users data on the internet a few times.

If you need encryption, use spideroak or idrive or mozy.  For my home systems, I actually use both spideroak and dropbox free services for 5 GB each and put more private materials into spideroak, and stuff I don't care about people viewing into dropbox.  Spideroak encrypts the data on their servers and dropbox stores it in plain text, meaning that dropbox employees can view anything in your folders.
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