View Full Version : Understanding the Sandbox concept...

11-27-2005, 01:08 AM
According to the manual, Dave suggests to start up from the Sandbox partition in daily working life in order to keep the Macintosh HD in a "clean" state - as a backup system, so to speak. In other words, I update my system and my applications while booted from Sandbox :)

But that's where the following passage in the manual does not make sense to me: Need to update an existing Sandbox? No problem! SuperDuperís amazing Smart Update feature will update it in minutes. Why would I then ever want to update from Macintosh HD if all the new stuff is on Sandbox?

How do the other users use Sandbox, and could you, Dave, elaborate on this a bit?

Sincerely, Martin.

11-27-2005, 07:13 AM
You don't live on the sandbox forever, Martin -- when you're happy with what's on it, you update the main volume to that state, and then update the sandbox to reflect the new "checkpoint".

01-01-2006, 02:45 PM
You don't live on the sandbox forever, Martin -- when you're happy with what's on it, you update the main volume to that state, and then update the sandbox to reflect the new "checkpoint".
I just created a Sandbox for the first time. I think I grasp the concept ... like the "red shirt guy sent on an away team by Captain Kirk" ... he takes the risks while the Enterprise, with all its gizmos & crew remain protected by the force field OR perhaps the "food taster" of the Mediaeval kings who made sure the food was not poisoned ... RIGHT. I have a question about maintaining a good relationship between the "away team" and the Enterprise (uh Sandbox and original OS). I saw in your manual that you recommend keeping a folder on the desktop to hold any upgrade or new program installation packages until throughly tested in the Sandbox. However, what about System Preferences and application preferences. Will changes made while in the Sandbox also be reflected in the original, or do I have keep track of these changes some how. I assume that if I load a new program in Sandbox that any preference changes I make in Sandbox will be lost when I install it into original ... or is there a way to transfer these preferences from Sandbox to original before doing a Smart Backup of the Sandbox?

01-01-2006, 02:47 PM
System preferences -- those maintained outside the user files in your Home -- will be isolated to the Sandbox. User preferences -- those stored in your local Library under Home -- will be shared.

If you follow the "Advanced Users" advice in the User's Guide about "copying back", though, we'll fully sync the original volume with the Sandbox. Just don't do it late at night, have a backup of the original volume in case you goof up, and be careful.

Make sense?

01-03-2006, 04:59 PM
Just don't do it late at night

Dave, do you say this, because the system is doing cron jobs which could interfere with SuperDuper!? If so, then it would never be a good idea to run SuperDuper! at certain times at night?

Sincerely, Martin.

01-03-2006, 05:01 PM
No, I only say this because you're likely to be tired! ;)

01-27-2006, 12:29 AM
You don't live on the sandbox forever, Martin -- when you're happy with what's on it, you update the main volume to that state, and then update the sandbox to reflect the new "checkpoint".

So what is the ideal situation?

Say I have an iMac (I don't but I want to get one soon).
Internal drive: Mac HD
External drive.1: sandbox
External drive.2: full system backup

So I create a full backup and the sandbox. I install some programs, I test them out for a week or so. Things are going well.

Now I create a full backup of ... what? The Mac HD?
Then I copy the sandbox to the Mac HD. That makes a checkpoint for the system.

Then what do I work off of? Is the Mac HD just a failsafe? Do I go back to the sandbox and muck around in it again?

I'm also a little confused about something else: rarely is my system ever in a static state. I'm always trying out some new program in the hope that it'll work more efficiently than its predecessor. how does one manage that?

01-27-2006, 07:49 AM
You always back up Macintosh HD, and never back up the Sandbox.

I hate to point to the documentation, but there's a whole chapter on living on, and maintaining, a Sandbox in the User's Guide. Did you check that out? It explains this stuff pretty thoroughly...

02-07-2006, 10:00 PM
I'd read the manual before, and I read it again just now.

So now I'm remember that the volume that needs to get backed up is the MacHD volume before you apply Sandbox's changes to the MacHD.

however, the heart of my original question remains: when do i do that?

The manual says that you can apply the change made on sandbox to the macHD 'at your leisure,' but that's not a very helpful answer.

Do you just sorta say, "well, I think things are pretty good right now. Time to apply the changes?"

What is the advantage/purpose of applying the changes on sandbox to the macHD? Local disk access speed vs. external drive?

That part of things is missing from the manual.


02-07-2006, 10:07 PM
Hi, vinyl_warrior.

Well, yes -- "at your leisure". Basically, when you're confident that the things you've installed on Sandbox are as you want them to be, you update the main drive.

Why? A few reasons. First, if you don't apply the changes to the main drive, you can't use the Sandbox as intended. The purpose is to give yourself a "known good OS state" to roll back to, without losing anything significant.

If the Sandbox is far "ahead" of the main drive, rolling back would lose useful info. So, when you've got a good state, you apply the changes to the main drive.

Then, you can update the Sandbox again from the main drive. Doing so will save some disk space, because any applications you've installed will convert from local to "shared".

Make sense?