Move your Sites folder in OS X with a SymLink NOT an Alias

Two hours of my life were wasted on this one, even though I’ve done it before. So…

If you want to move your ~/Sites folder into say Dropbox or AeroFS or Google Drive or SkyDrive and then you still want to point to it from its default location don’t use an alias.

I know an alias is only a ctrl-click away, but it means all sorts of pain.

Instead, move the folder to dropbox by dragging it (yes you can do this), then open Terminal and type:

ln -s ~/Dropbox/Sites ~/Sites

Replace Dropbox with whatever the folder of your service is called.

Restart Apache either by restarting Web Sharing in System Preference -> Sharing or by using Terminal and typing:

apachectl graceful

Cross your fingers and open a virtual host in your web browser. I fought with an Alias and all sorts of folder settings and httpd.conf lines to try and get it working, and then all I needed was to use a SymLink in its place.

Don’t worry about no longer having a ‘real’ ~/Sites folder. You don’t actually need one.

Cheers to James Galley, my desk neighbour for helping my brain to click on this one.

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