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Chapter 2. Installing Mac OS X > Pre-Installation Considerations and Tips

Pre-Installation Considerations and Tips

In the early days, to be able to install the Mac operating system, all you needed to do was to copy a folder called System Folder to whatever device you wanted to be bootable—that was about as complicated as things could get. In fact, although the Mac OS has its own installation program, you can copy your OS 8 or 9 System Folder to another disk if you want to make it bootable. In OS X, the operating system occupies far more space than just a System Folder. Although they are not viewable in the Mac OS X file listing, there are several directories that are tied to the BSD Unix subsystem and cannot be directly moved or copied to other disks in a user-friendly manner. A few of these directories are listed here:

  • bin— Most basic system applications and command-line tools

  • dev— Devices

  • private— Houses directories used for temporary files, logs, configuration files, and so on

  • sbin— Administrative tools and servers


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