June 19, 2007

Where did /etc /var /tmp come from?


Now, you successfully cloned and transferred your bootable OS X system onto an external hard drive and you're able to boot into it by holding the Option key when turning on the system and picking disc... everything works! Time to celebrate right?

Well, all except for one little annoyance, there are new directories that show when you open up a new Finder window, mainly: /etc /var and /tmp.

These are really not a big deal, especially if you're familiar with Unix but to most casual users that don't know or care about the Unix behind the scenes this could be a little disconcerting.... and besides, they really should be invisible because well, they normally are.

There's an easy fix but unfortunately you gotta dust off your original OS X installation discs.

The steps are simple:

1. Insert your Mac OS X installation disc.
2. Open Terminal and type the following commands, each on one line:
cd /Volumes
cd Mac\ OS\ X\ Install\ Disc\ 1/
cd System/Installation/Packages/OSInstall.mpkg/Contents/Resources/
sudo ./SetHidden / hidden_MacOS9

And you're done!

This is documented on the Apple support site, the article id is 301677.



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