Is mac file system case sensitive

I did some googling and found that Steam won't be the only application that gives me this trouble. Photoshop when I eventually install it doesn't support case-sensitive file systems either. I'm sure there are other applications as well.

There is at least a work around for Steam, but it involves disc images and symbolic links. Not very fun. It works, but it's not very fun and Steam is supposed to be all about fun, no? I am not aware of any work arounds for Photoshop. So here's my question. Can I boot into the disk utility, format the drive to be case-insensitive, and then restore from time machine? Are there any technical limitations that would prevent me from doing this?

I haven't named anything like Folder 1 and folder 1 yet, so I am not aware of any collisions that would show up. It looks like you can restore from time machine to a case-insensitive file system from a case-sensitive one.


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See Apple Forums here. I would highly recommend that you perform a total system backup using Carbon Copy Cloner. Carbon Copy Cloner does support restoring to a case-insensitive system from a case-sensitive one - see this.


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I would also boot to the CCC image and make sure all my stuff was there before I wiped my internal drive and did the restore. CCC makes a bootable back up which is another reason it's awesome. Supposing the program you're using is just insisting on having a case-insensitive FS while your data is on a case-sensitive FS, you can sometimes get away with just mirroring the directory structure over to the case-insensitive FS, and use symbolic links for the files.

This way you avoid duplicating potentially large or numerous files. For instance, consider you want to clone Foo. Maybe there's no need to reformat your case sensitive fs to run apps that require a case sensitive fs;. You can create a case insensitive disk image in the disk utility i use a sparse bundle , then drag the application in that disk image and run it. That allowed me to run Photoshop. I usually use a sparse bundle; There was a reason I wanted a case sensitive host fs. I use Photoshop on Mac all the time and the default filesystem has never been a problem. There isn't a good reason to have case insensitive filesystems by default.

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Filesystem Case-Sensitivity Mismatch - IntelliJ IDEA - Confluence

Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. Asked 7 years, 7 months ago.

Active 1 year, 2 months ago. Viewed 87k times. The Operating System is case sensitive. So if you could magically turn that off somehow I would imagine at the very best you would have to deal with file name collisions. At worst it would just plain be broken. Are you sure you need to convert your entire filesystem? Maybe you can get away with creating a case-insensitive disk image.

One Drive on OS X Yosemite - file system case sensitivity issue

EBGreen different parts of the "Operating System" are case sensitive or case insensitive. The default filesystem is case insensitive, although you can specify a disc to be formatted case-sensitively for better unix compatibility. Unfortunately, many apps are broken - they assume you keep the defaults. Just slightly before you posted this I went ahead and started the process knowing that in the worst case I would just have to restore to a case-sensitive file system.

I formatted the drive to a case-insensitive file system and time machine is currently restoring and hasn't made a fuss yet. I'll post the end result when everything is said and done. I usually make an external drive or a dmg when I truly need case-sensitivity for cross platform needs or a very specific code base.

You may have good reasons for needing this, but I wanted to make sure others are aware that there can be problems with being too sensitive with your file system. Yes, i need that for testing web development. Most of hosting use case sensitive. So i want to match it. I keep my system default, but test development, deployment and scripts on a web root based on the alternate file system's path. Sounds like you're well armed to give either scenario a go - dive in or compartmentalize your testing. If you need an environment for testing web development, running a virtual machine is an alternative to consider as well, since there might be other quirks and differences between your Mac and the environment on production servers.


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  • Note, In OS X John John 3 3 silver badges 2 2 bronze badges. I tried the same approach in Mac OS How is this possible? File System Personality will reflect one of the known personalities. John however has a similar answer without the flaw. Before you close Terminal, enter rm abc1 and rm ABC2 to clean up after the test.

    Notes from Xah Lee

    An empirical solution - very nice. How do abc1 and ABC2 collide? Shouldn't it be abc1 and ABC1? I could have chosen Allan and armour instead as filenames.

    Knowledge Base

    I was just trying to help, however, I don't want to edit against your own wishes and you seem to be sensitive about it - so I will leave the answer as is and leave a downvote instead. You are right, my answer is flawed. I still prefer an explanation than not my post being edited without understanding why. Patrix is also right about nocaseglob. Fastest way is using Terminal. Featured on Meta. Congratulations to our 29 oldest beta sites - They're now no longer beta! Unicorn Meta Zoo 7: Interview with Nicolas.

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