Restoring from Time Machine backup relocates home directories

Ryan Schmidt ryandesign at
Fri Sep 15 16:06:11 UTC 2017

> On Sep 15, 2017, at 07:09, db <iamsudo at> wrote:
> On 15 Sep 2017, at 04:32, Ryan Schmidt <ryandesign at> wrote:
>> I recently reinstalled macOS and, during the setup process, restored from a Time Machine backup. One would think that after restoration, the machine would be in a state sufficiently similar to the one it was in at backup time, but for our purposes, it is not, specifically with regard to user accounts.
> May I assume that by macOS you mean 10.12?
> Hasn't this problem already been reported in previous versions of OS X?

Right, I'm using 10.12, but I assume the problem exists in earlier versions as well. I may have written about the problem before, but if so, I couldn't find it, and don't remember what conclusions we may have reached.

> To prepare for the manual fix, would it be enough to run `port cat installed | grep add_user`?

Not always, because many ports use local variables when setting the home directory, so you then have to find the place in the Portfile where that local variable is set. And also, many ports split the add_users invocation over multiple lines, such that the line that sets the home directory might not be on the same line that includes the string "add_users".

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