Insensitive file systems
By martin on Mar 03, 2008
cASe inSEnsITIvE file system - what an utterly stupid idea!
When I installed Leopard on my MacBook Pro it was a natural choice to make the file system case sensitive. Besides being a UNIX geek I had a legitimate reason for doing so:
you can't do
hg clone ssh://firstname.lastname@example.org/hg/audit/patches
as the OpenSolaris source code contains case insensitivity conflicts.
So what am I bitching about then? Yesterday I tried to install Adobe Photoshop CS3 on my wife's MacBook pro (which I also installed with case sensitivity) and got this very unintuitive dialog:
This software cannot be installed because the file system of the OS volume is not supported
After scratching my head for a while, I figured out that it is due to the case sensitivity! Adobe hasn't bothered to fix their code, and it is not like it is a new feature in Mac OS X either... they have had several years to fix it.
Unfortunately there is no solution to this, but to reformat the file system and make it case insensitive! To go from bad to worse I can't use TimeMachine to do it, as it too doesn't support backing up a case sensitive file system and restoring it to a case insensitive. It just has to alert me if there is a conflict - which there isn't in my case, I've checked!
Luckily Mac OS X comes with all the UNIX tools we love and cherish, so I'll just use
gtar to back up all my data and then nuke the / partition (while keeping my
Update: as suggested by zdz and Dick Davies I tried creating a disk image with a case insensitive HFS, but that didn't work either for the Photoshop installer. The hint is in the error message "OS volume is not supported". Back to the original plan of backup/reinstall/restore...