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There’s No Place Like Home, Even If It’s a Home Directory Nowhere Near Kansas

Home directories or home folders serve two functions in a Mac OS X. First, they serve as a personal network folder in which users can store files. Second, home directories serve as a place to store user preferences and settings for applications and operating system options. This allows users to have a personal configuration that follows them regardless of which computer within in an Open Directory environment they use (much like roaming profiles in a Windows network). Their desktop patterns, web browser bookmarks, application settings, and personal files remain the same regardless of workstation.

A user’s home directory is listed with a home icon in the sidebar in Mac OS X 10.3 Finder windows. It can also be accessed using the Shift+Apple+H key combination in all Mac OS X versions, by selecting Home from the Finder’s Go menu, or by clicking the home button in the toolbar at the top of Finder windows in Mac OS X 10.2 and earlier.

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