How to move Logic’s additional content to a secondary drive

I get many questions on how to move Logic’s additional content (Apple Loops, samples…) to an alternative location, like a secondary internal or external drive. There’s widespread information about using aliases when linking back to Logic Pro X’s default locations. Unfortunately that is a very risky assumption, because every update related to that content will overwrite the alias and recreate an ordinary folder instead. The problem is that your other content will be orphaned, and you will end up with library content that needs to be redownloaded again.

The correct way of do this is to use symbolic links.

The Symbolic Link

Symbolic links, or symlinks, are part of the underlying file system that the UNIX BSD kernel in OS X uses as its backbone. Symlinks basically contain information to the file path itself but not to the files. It stores the information of the so called inode, whereas an alias contains a reference to the path as well as the actual file itself.

One of the advantages of using an alias is that you can rename and move the referenced file without losing its relationship. This is in general a huge advantage over symlinks, but has the downside of being treated by the file system like a small file, instead of a referenced location. That’s why an update will remove the alias and create a new folder in its place.

A symlink will, as I stated before, only store the path. Moving the target file or folder will break the link. Changing the name of the file or folder will also break the link. Creating a whole different file and placing it under the same path with the same name will however work flawlessly. One of the strengths of the symlink is that the system treats it as a path to a location. This is why it stays intact even when updating your libraries.

How to create a Symbolic link

promptThe easiest way to create a symlink is to use the Terminal. You can find this application inside the Utilities folder which lives inside your Applications folder. Apple’s Finder does not provide any way of creating symlinks directly, as an alias is the prefererred way of linking to a file. If you however find the terminal too heavy or scary, there are small scripts that can help you out. I recommend you use the Terminal though, simply because it’s a very easy task and getting your hands warm in the Terminal will have other benefits later on.

Launch the Terminal and type this command:

ln -s [Target] [Destination]

  • [target] is where your files are.
  • [destination] is the symbolic link file itself. Here we are going to use the default library location.

OS X’s terminal offers the ability to drag and drop paths directly from the Finder. You will not have to enter much text at all.

Scenario 1 – Moving our content and linking to it.

In this scenario we are going to move an existing folder with its content, and create a symlink in its place.

Locate /Library/Application Support/Logic and move the “Logic” folder to your external drive. I recommend you first create a folder on that drive to keep all your content in one place. The new location for the content is as follows:

[NAME OF YOUR DISK]/Logic Content/Logic

  • “Logic Content” is the name of the folder I created.
  • “Logic” is the moved folder.

Now we want to delete the original content: on the System drive, delete the Logic folder inside /Library/Application Support/.

It’s finally time to create our symlink. First we set the shell to root: in the Terminal, write sudo -s and press enter. It will prompt you for your password: type it and press enter. Now type ln -s followed by a space. Drag and drop the Logic folder from your external drive onto the terminal window. Next, drag and drop the Application Support folder inside the main Library. You will see this displayed in the terminal:

ln -s /Volumes/[NAME OF YOUR DISK]/Logic\ Content/Logic /Library/Application\ Support

Press back space to get rid of the blank space and enter /Logic to name your link “Logic”. You should now see:

ln -s /Volumes/[NAME OF YOUR DISK]/Logic\ Content/Logic /Library/Application\ Support/Logic

Terminal_ln_s-1

Lastly press Enter, and the symlink is created.

Scenario 2 – Creating links even before installing Logic.

You can create the links before installing Logic Pro X. I recommend you create a main folder first, followed by a subfolder on that drive to keep all your content in one place. In this example I create a “Logic Content” folder, and inside that I create a new “Logic” folder. The path now looks like this:

[NAME OF EXTERNAL DRIVE]/Logic Content/Logic

In Terminal, type ln -s followed by a space. Drag and drop the Logic folder from your external drive onto the Terminal window. Next type /Library/Application\ Support/Logic and you will see this on the Terminal:

ln -s /Volumes/[NAME OF YOUR DISK]/Logic\ Content/Logic /Library/Application\ Support/Logic

Press enter and your symlink is created.

Important folders for Logic Pro X additional content

There are four locations on your Mac that contain files used by Logic Pro. You don’t need to move all of these if you don’t want to, but it’s good to know where all the content is installed:

/Library/Application Support/Logic
/Library/Application Support/GarageBand
/Library/Audio/Apple Loops
/Library/Audio/Impulse Responses

The largest folders in size are the Apple Loops and the Logic folder. You can now follow the steps in one of the scenarios above to either create or move as many folders as you want.

I hope this is a good introduction in how to move your additional content, and I’ll see you on the next blog post.

Sincerely,

/Eric Cardenas

Eric Cardenas

Eric Cardenas

Vocalist, Bass player, and Guitarist based in Uppsala, Sweden

Audio engineer with an affinity for computers working primarily in Logic Pro.

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