HFS+ is not case sensitive. It took me 6 months to realize this basic fact. It’s one of these things you never bother researching when you consider buying a mac. Last week it hit me hard. I spent 30 minutes trying to fix something that should have been fixed in 30 seconds at most.
A colleague had created
File.ext on our website hosted on github pages but printed
url/file.ext on important documents they were supposed to hand over to someone. Without access to either Internet or a printer, they asked me to fix this. Easy as pie. Except…
$ mkdir gittest && cd gittest $ git init $ touch File && ls File $ git add File && git commit -m "add File" $ mv File file && ls file $ git add file && git status On branch master nothing to commit, working directory clean
Oops. At this point, I lost quite some trying different ideas. I could not believe HFS+ was case insensitive, it never even occurred to me, I thought git was playing a trick on me. I ended up doing the following:
$ git rm File && git add file $ git commit -m "rename file"
The problem being fixed, I investigated a bit.
$ touch a A && ls a $ echo b > a $ cat A b
I then had to get confirmation on the Internet. Of course, most developers already knew about this. I didn’t. And I currently have more than 70 repositories in my dedicated folder
~/repositories. Imagine if one of these had
File in the same directory when I cloned it.
Here is what I finally did to prevent any future headache.
$ du -ch repositories | grep total 14.8G total $ hdiutil create -type SPARSE -fs 'Case-sensitive Journaled HFS+' -size 20g ~/volume_repos.dmg created: ~/volume_repos.dmg.sparseimage
I then decided on a mounting point for this volume, added an alias to mount it to my rc file, created a symlink
~/mountpointrepo, moved my repos to the volume.
$ mv repositories backup_repositories $ echo alias mountrepos="hdiutil attach ~/volume_repos.dmg.sparseimage -mountpoint /Users/victor/mountpointrepo" > .zshrc $ source .zshrc $ mountrepos $ ln -s /Users/user/mountpointrepo repositories $ cp -r backup_repositories/.* backup_repositories/* repositories $ touch repositories/a repositories/A && ls repositories/ A a
Perfect. And the sparse volume will grow without my intervention to fit my
JetBrains IDEs started complaining though:
Filesystem Case-Sensitivity Mismatch
The project seems to be located on a case-sensitive file system.
This does not match the IDE setting (controlled by property “idea.case.sensitive.fs”)
Even if their doc on this subject is very, very poor, I found the following solution:
echo idea.case.sensitive.fs=true >> Library/Preferences/IntelliJIdea15/idea.properties
It feels safer now though I cannot really understand why case insensitive file systems still exist in 2016. Probably because people like me buy macs, I know.