[Tip] Using Mac OS X DMG to keep workspaces
July 14th, 2009 by Eugene Ostroukhov

I’ve been using Mac OS X r/w disk images (DMG) to keep workspace for a couple months now – and I think it is great. Currently my workspace size is slightly above 2Gb:

  1. I didn’t notice any performance degrade – in both build and IDE operation.
  2. I can easily back-up/restore/clone workspace. I attempted to use Time Capsule/Time Machine for workspace backup – but they are completely unfriendly for the large amount of the small files that make up the workspace.
  3. (Luckily, haven’t tried this yet) – can be moved to another Mac in a matter of minutes.

I think it would also make sense to keep the whole dev environment (Eclipse SDK/target platform/workspace) on the DMG so it is easy to switch between older/newer versions – but I didn’t configure it that way yet.

DMG should be excluded from Time Machine back-up or TM will copy the whole image file time each time there’s some change in the workspace.

5 Responses  
  • Eric Rizzo writes:
    July 14th, 20096:53 pmat

    How about posting a step-by-step explanation of how to set this up? I’m new to the Nation of Mac and don’t know how to create a disk image. Sure, I could look up the info using Google and figure out what you’ve done, but it would be nice to see exactly what you’ve done. A screencast would be ideal, but a simple description and/or screenshots would be good enough.

    • zzhou writes:
      July 14th, 20097:31 pmat

      I could never write it as well as Apple does – I don’t use sparse disk images and I don’t use encription/password protection.

      Note – you can resize the image later, so there is no reason to try and make it future-proof-large.

      • ekke writes:
        July 14th, 20098:21 pmat

        An how do you your backups ? I’m using normaly SuperDuper do backup DMGs. Great Idea to use DMGs to have it all transportable.

        • zzhou writes:
          July 14th, 20098:32 pmat

          I wrote a simple automator workflow that runs daily from iCal – it unmounts the image and copies it to remote disk. So no need for SuperDuper and other applications – it’s a simple file.

    • Frank Sauer writes:
      July 15th, 20098:39 pmat

      Welcome to Mac Nation, you won’t regret it (besides, resistance is futile)

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