Sharing Tool Libraries Between Macs

Hi All,

This is sort of a follow up to a question that Will has answered for me. I found a similar topic in the threads, but did not understand the answer and suspect it was answered for a Windows machine, not Mac.

I’ve just started using CC514 after upgrading one of my older Macs. I like to design on one Mac and use dropbox to share it with my Shapeoko controller Mac in my shop.

I see that there is a new tool library format that looks much more comprehensive than the one in CC431 which I was previously using.

My question is this:

After creating these custom libraries, can I share them between machines? I understand they are in .CSV format somewhere, but I don’t know where. Ideally, I’d like CC514 to just point to a CSV file in a location of my choosing, but I think that’s asking too much. Barring that, how can I get the new custom library from one Mac to another?




Yes, linking or synching the file should work.

The user library tool files can be accessed by: Help | About | Open Data Directory — they’re in the Carbide Create/tools directory.

Hi Will,

Thanks! I found it. It’s actually here:

Carbide Create>About>Open Data Directory.

Is there a way to tell CC to look in another location so the same folder is used by two instances of the program?



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That’s the Mac version.

No, the location is hard-wired — you could use some sort of directory linking to change the effective location though.

I think there could be an easy solution to this, even if it is hard coded.

Couldn’t the settings.ini file have a “defaulttooldatabase” which could be edited by users (not the best option) or allow the location of the tool database to be defined within CC and then stored in the settings.ini file (best option), making it accessible from all software variants of CC?

Wouldn’t a network share and a Unix hard link (or pair of them) be easier?

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Probably, but I don’t know how to do that.

As far as I can see, each CC application has it’s own settings.ini file which, I assume (not always a good thing!) CC ‘looks’ at when staring up.

How would it know where the non-default tool directory is, unless that option exists in the *.ini file?

What I’ve done to date is copy the directory from my main Mac to the MacBook Air’s directory.

What you need is:

  • a persistent network share available to both machines — if one is always on, it could share to the other, or use a service such as Dropbox as noted above

  • if using a network share, move a good copy of the Carbide Create folder to it

  • on each machine you want to use the shared copy create a hard link pointing to that folder: (that’s the first link I found, alternately launch the Terminal and type

     man ln

Thanks @WillAdams.

I’ve got a NAS which I store all my documents on, including project files, etc. Would that work?

Networks aren’t my forte, to be honest, and all i was trying to achieve is a shared tool library for each CC application. Is this what this does?


Yes, the NAS is the perfect thing for this.

All you need to do is move a copy of the folder there, then generate links to it on each computer — when Carbide Create is running on each computer it will use the network copy via the link.

So, just assume I’m a bit of a numpty (not difficult) but are you saying I should copy all of this:

…to a folder on my NAS, and then…

I’m definitely going to need a step by step for that last bit!

Hi Guys,

Apparently, there are no more hard links in Mac OS anymore, only symbolic links (i’m running High Sierra). I’ve tried several times (unsuccessfully) to have CC look at symbolic link to both the entire Carbide Create folder and also to just the tools folder. Neither seems to work.

I’ve got both my Macs on the same network and I know the symbolic link works, because I can move the original CSV file anywhere on my machine and still open it from the symbolic link.

What I can’t get to happen is for CC to look at that symbolic link and open the custom tool library.

So I guess what I’m asking is if you know exactly what folder CC points to on startup to see the custom tool libraries?

Carbide Create/tools — does it not work to make that into a link?

How can there not be hard links? Doesn’t the underlying Unix OS require them?

I just tried something else after some more research. Seems you can move the Symbolic link file, but not the original file. So one can put the link file on the desktop and open the CSV file from the tools folder, but not the other way around.

APFS (which it seems the OS is now using) file system does not support hard links on the Mac from what I’ve read. I’m not fluent in this at all, just doing research as I hit each stumbling block.

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OK, I just figured something out. It’s not elegant, but it seems to work, though I’m sure there will be something else that pops up to mess me up.

  1. Create the custom tool file in CC
  2. Move that custom file to your “shared” location (dropbox, NAS etc)
  3. Create a symlink to that file
  4. Move that symlink back to the tools folder in CC

I have subsequently edited the file to see if I can add more tools to it and it works.

Will, your knowledge of this stuff is encyclopedic. Without your link suggestion, I would never have gotten even this far. Cheers!


Will I need to copy the symlink to the tools folder for both applications?


I believe so. It’s the two symlinks pointing to the same file which make this work.

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Hi Peter,

Yes, as Will says , that’s what lets both versions “see” the same tool library. I actually didn’t make a copy, I made a second symlink from the “master” file.



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