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How to to achieve a multi user and multi device system by facilitating the multi user capabilities of Windows / Android / Linux plus some clever linking between user directories / NAS / cloud services?


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My goal

  • Curate and configure Launchbox + Emulators only once, and then give my kids only a particular subset of it on their user-account on the same machine or another device (Chromebook via Android app).
  • If possible also subsequent updates and config changes should make it to all users. Don't want to repeat that for all.
  • Except ofc later game-additions, I understand that this must then be done per each user, the overhead is neglible as there won't be that many changes.
  • Emulator specific data like save-states can be shared, users will take responsibility to not step on each other's toes.

I'm new to LaunchBox

  • I watched an entire Saturday of tutorials and spend 2 hours of forum search.
  • I am not tech-savvy on Windows, but am tech-savvy on macOS/Unix systems (CLI and scripting).

I have established this:

My overall question

  • Is it possible to achieve a multi user system by facilitating the multi user capabilities of the OS plus some clever linking to create some sort of folder/file overlays/overrides?
  • To faster grasp the concept and questions I created an infographic plus some questions in place. Hints/help appreciated!
    (Filepaths and terminology more in Unix style, sorry I do not know all conceptual counterparts in Windows)
    (Snagit source file attached, if you want to use it for remixing/annotating)



Extra links to the considerations in the infographic

  • Windows cannot achieve union mounting, but you can achieve a poor man's union filesystem by recreating the Launchbox folder in the user directory with custom files/folders in place and the other folders of the root structure as links to the counterparts in the shared launchbox folder. By creating-symbolic-links and/or hard-links-and-junctions.
    • This is quite a long term low maintenance solution if the root structure changes not too often (what I assume from glimpsing at it)
    • Second thing necessary would be that the shared launchbox.exe switches to the user specific launchbox as it's working directory.



Launchbox structure for file folder sharing for multi users on one computer or in LAN or in Internet.snagproj

Edited by porg
Added links to official Microsoft documentation on hard-links-and-junctions and creating-symbolic-links
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