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Mac Thread, Library Folder on Apple Macs in Technical; Hi, We have an ICT suite of Apple Macs which have recently been put onto a Mac server, authenticated by ...
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    Library Folder on Apple Macs

    Hi,

    We have an ICT suite of Apple Macs which have recently been put onto a Mac server, authenticated by AD. The Mac server basically locks down student accounts.

    However it has been discovered that for everyone that logs into a Mac, it creates a Library file in their documents which is rather large, between 150-200MB.

    Is this file necessary? It is safe to delete and if so will programs on the Macs continue to function - I would assume so as someone who have never logged into a Mac before does not have the Library file, the Macs just creates it for them.

    The reason we ask is because at an average of 175MB across 1300 users (all of whom will log into a Mac at some point) this uses about 225GB plus a further 2.3TB on our backups.

    We are thinking we could create a script to delete the Library folder upon logoff but obviously we need to be sure that the folder is not essential!

    Thanks

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    The library folder holds, amongst other things, the user preferences. Its a little like the app data folder in Windows.

    Most applications on the mac will create something in here as soon as they are opened.

    Photoshop, Logic and Final Cut are the big three that are used here and all store the users layouts and any other preferences in this folder.

    Generally its safe to delete them as long as you don't mind it re-setting the user preferences every log in.

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    You can redirect the Library folder (amongst others) to store on the local machine, and not on the user home directory. I've written more about how to do this on my website: Folder Redirections (MCX Redirector) - Mactasia

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    It is generally *NOT* safe to delete the User Library (~/Library) because it also holds user data for a number of applications like Address Book, iCal and Mail. If you delete their user library, you risk deleting emails that have been removed from the server and saved in a local folder, all their contact records, etc.

    You could use network home folders or redirection, but regardless of where the user library is stored, you probably want to back it up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mezmerrick View Post
    You can redirect the Library folder (amongst others) to store on the local machine, and not on the user home directory. I've written more about how to do this on my website: Folder Redirections (MCX Redirector) - Mactasia
    Brilliant thanks, I will take a look at this.

    Quote Originally Posted by weldon View Post
    It is generally *NOT* safe to delete the User Library (~/Library) because it also holds user data for a number of applications like Address Book, iCal and Mail. If you delete their user library, you risk deleting emails that have been removed from the server and saved in a local folder, all their contact records, etc.

    You could use network home folders or redirection, but regardless of where the user library is stored, you probably want to back it up.
    These are student machines and students do not have access to Mail, iCal and Address Book so that's not an issue. In regards to program preferences, again the standard preferences are perfectly fine for most people. We have done some testing and so far not had no adverse effects of these files and folders being deleted (manually).

    Now just to either redirect the folders or get them deleted automatically. If anyone else has a good reason why the Library folders should not be deleted I would be grateful to hear them!

    Thanks

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