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There are some programs that require a case-sensitive filesystem, and others that require case-insensitive. Even though Apple warns against using case sensitive file systems, in some situations it is useful.

What programs have trouble with Case Sensitive (HFSX) systems?

What are the work-arounds?

In general, the problem is that the developers have a file in their app called FOO, but try to access the file by the name foo. In an HFS+ system that is case preserving but case insensitive, searching for foo will find FOO. That is not the case in HFSX. The general solution is therefore to

  1. Find the misnamed file or folder
  2. Make a copy, a link, or rename so the expected name is found
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No ability to add answers, but this site lists some software and provides explanations how to debug and get them working again: –  user588 Jul 29 '12 at 23:48
MODERATORS: This question has been closed and voted to re-open already:… Please read that and consider before voting to close. –  user588 Oct 14 '12 at 15:06
The meta discussion has no objections lodged to re-opening this, so I'm going to over-rule the closure and ask that people join us on meta if I missed an opinion / reason to close it. Discussion is here and here –  bmike Oct 14 '12 at 16:39

5 Answers 5

According to this question, Photoshop CS5 won't work on HFSX.

Convert a partition from case-sensitive to case-insensitive

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Apparently, CS6 doesn't work, either.… –  CajunLuke Aug 22 '12 at 20:54

MeshLab version 1.3.2 does not work on HSFX systems. The CFBundleExecutable in Info.plist specifies MeshLab, but the binary in the Contents/MacOS folder is meshlab. The solution is to edit Info.plist (change MeshLab to meshlab) or:

ln -s meshlab MeshLab

A bug report has been filed here:

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Bug still exists on 1.3.3 –  mankoff May 10 at 14:29

Thing (beta, 1.6b24) does not work with HSFX. The solution is to rename or link the Versions folder to versions

cd Things
ln -s Versions versions
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I can't reproduce the problem with version 2.5.4. –  Graham Perrin Jul 13 at 17:29

The CrashPlan backup software (v 3.6.3) has a known case sensitive issue.

Solution is:

  1. Open Terminal
  2. Stop the CrashPlan service by entering this command:

    sudo launchctl unload /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.crashplan.engine.plist

  3. Open the CrashPlan plist file by entering this command:

    sudo nano /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.crashplan.engine.plist

  4. Enter your password for the computer when prompted

  5. Locate the following string:


  6. Update it to (note capital s on MacOS):


  7. Press Control+X to exit

  8. Press Y to confirm the changes
  9. When you see the prompt File Name to Write, press Enter to save to the existing location
  10. Start the CrashPlan service by typing:

    sudo launchctl load /Library/LaunchDaemons/com.crashplan.engine.plist

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I should not expect the same problem with 4.3.0; output from the following command looks fine: sudo launchctl list com.crashplan.engine | grep -i macos –  Graham Perrin Jul 13 at 17:40
Correct. Not currently an issue. –  mankoff Jul 13 at 19:12

Console 10.9 (536.100.1) in Maveicks, OS X 10.9.5 (13F1096)

The order of system log queries is dependent upon file system capabilities. This is troublesome only if you expect queries to be sorted alphabetically without case sensitivity.

With case-insensitive HFS Plus (a before A): Screen shot of a listing with a before A

With case-sensitive HFS Plus (a after Z):

Screen shot of a listing with a after Z

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My guess that Console would behave in this way – with HFS Plus with Mavericks – was based on past knowledge of how Console behaved with ZEVO ZFS on Mountain Lion. The relevant topic, in the GreenBytes area (before it was closed by Oracle) was disorderly representations of files in apps such as Console; Don Brady described it as a bug in Console. –  Graham Perrin Jul 13 at 19:46

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