Multiple EVE Clients From One Install, on a Mac

For me, this has been the Holy Grail of how I can make my EVE experience on a Mac be the best it possibly can. I have had multiple installs, taking up around 35gb of total hard drive space since I started my fourth account, and I had wondered for a long time if there were a way to run my clients from a single install like using the junction method on Windows.

As mentioned in that Evelopedia article, they suggest two ways of running multiple clients. One is to have multiple installs, like I mentioned I had, and the other is to force OSX to open your single client multiple times through a terminal command.

Option one uses up a lot of hard drive space. Option two can cause potential problems with read/write errors in your preferences.

To that end, I now present you with option three. This is going to be a little long, and maybe a little involved, but overall it is fairly simple.

We are going to assume that you have EVE already installed, and that you only have one client installed. When you look at my screenshots, you will see multiple installs, but just ignore that and play along.

To start, ⌃ + Click on your Desktop and create a New Folder

And call it symbolic links

This is going to be a temporary repository for some files we are going to create shortly.

Go into your applications, ⌃ + Click on your EVE Online install, and duplicate.

And wait patiently while all 6gb+ of EVE is duplicated. It is going to get a lot smaller shortly, I promise.

Once it completes, we now have a brand new copy of our EVE client.

New it is time to work some magic. ⌃ + Click on your original EVE install and choose Show Package Contents

Expand the Contents folder to show the items in the package:

Now it is time to create some symbolic links. Open your Terminal and change folders to the symbolic links folder we made on your desktop.

cd ~/Desktop/symbolic\ links

Now, in the terminal window, type

ln -s

Then drag the Frameworks folder from the EVE Online package contents folder into your Terminal window. After that, type the name for your symbolic link, which must match exactly, capitalization, spelling, everything. When you are done, your terminal window should look something like this

Press the return key and your new symbolic link will have been created in the folder on your desktop.

Repeat the above steps for creating the symbolic links with all the files EXCEPT for info.plist. The info.plist file is what allows us to have different preferences for each of our EVEs. Remember when you are naming the links, they MUST match 100%, even with the same capitalization.

When you are all done, your symbolic links folder on the desktop should look EXACTLY like this

Go back to your Applications folder, ⌃ + Click on the EVE copy, and select Show Package Contents, then expand the Contents folder. Delete everything except for info.plist. From the symbolic links folder, press ⌘ + A to select all of your links, ⌘ + C to copy all of them, then select your EVE copy Package Contents and, the Contents folder in particular, and press ⌘ + V to paste the links.

That info.plist file that we left in there? Double click on it now. This will bring up the plist editor. Scroll down until you see PrefsFolderName and in the box to the right, change the name. When you launch this EVE “client” that is going to be part of the name of the preferences folder name.

For example, in my case I have named the PrefsFolderName EVE Online 2. This means that my preferences are now in ~/Library/Preferences/EVE Online 2 Preferences. The same holds true no matter how you name this line. After you change it, press ⌘ + S to Save and the ⌘ + Q to quit.

That is it for creating the client. If you want to make additional ones, just duplicate the copy you made with the symbolic links in it.

Creating these is all well and good, but when it comes time to try and launch them, you will run into a minor problem. You need to use a Terminal command to force it in open the new client copies we have made. If you are anything like me, though, you don’t want to have to open the terminal every time you want to launch your EVE clients, so we are going to use Automator to do that for us.

Open Automator and select Application.

Choose Utilities -> Run Shell Script and drag it to the right to add an action. Delete the “cat” and type in the following:

open -n ~/Applications/EVE\ 1.app

Or whatever it is you have named your first EVE install. Make sure you escape your spaces with a back slash prior to them, like I did in my example. Your Automator window should look much like this

Save it with a file name, change the EVE client name to match your next install, and do a Save As to give it a different name. Change the icon to match the EVE icon if you so desire, or leave it as an Automator, that is up to you.

We could stop here, but since we have Automator open, how would you like to have it open EVE, type in your password, and press return without you doing anything except clicking on the Automator app? Sounds fun, right?

Go back to your Automator window and add a pause after the Shell script. I set mine for 35 seconds. It takes about 30 for EVE to actual start up and be ready for login, but I wanted to be safe. Now, drag over Run AppleScript.

Type the following into the AppleScript window:

on run {input, parameters}

tell application "EVE 1"

activate

tell application "System Events"

keystroke "password"

keystroke return

end tell

end tell

return input

end run

Of course, replace password with your password. If you have any upper case letters, then you need to separate out your keystrokes and use the “using” function. Let’s say, for example, that your password is actually PasSword. in that case, you need to have your keystrokes read:

keystroke "p" using {shift down}

keystroke "as"

keystroke "S" using {shift down}

keystroke "word"

Save it, launch it, and revel in your new found ability to click one button to launch EVE, enter your password, and press return, in addition to all the hard drive space you have now saved.

I know, its a long one. I hope I have been as clear as I possibly could be, but if you have any confusion, ask away and I will do my best to clarify.


  • This is cool. How much overhead does it save you?

  • grimmlock

    Current EVE install size, as of yesterdays (6/29/10) patch, is 6.32gb. If you switch to using symbolic links, each additional is only 25kb in size.

    You do have about 235mb in preferences, but personally I can accept that since it takes away the read/write errors.

    Krispy

  • Celebrindal

    I already had created two copies of the client. Once I've setup the symbolic link folder I'm assuming I could just copy the files out of Eve 1 and then create a Eve 3 for the second client pulling the info.plist from the original eve 1? Or am I getting things confused.

    Thanks.

    • If you already have a second client, then just make your symbolic links and put them in that second client. There is no need to make another copy. Just make sure that your info.plist has been properly edited.

      When I first made all mine, I already had 5 copies of the client sitting there.

  • T

    does this still work with the incarnage installation ??

    • Yes, it still works, but with one small change. They moved the preferences folder from ~/Library/Preferences/EVE Online Preferences to ~/Library/Application Support/EVE Online

      If you edit the Bundle Name in your info.plist file, it will create a new folder with the bundle name. 

      Need to update this to reflect that.