Mac newbie here. I need to have a case sensitive file system. I am planning to create a separate data partition for that. 100GB (Mac/home directory) + 151GB (data partition). I have a habit of making a separate data partition since my Linux days (while building a new system). It seems like the separate data partition appears as /Volumes/data_partition on Mac, while it appears as /data_partition (as in, direct descendant of / ) for Linux. Is my understanding correct?

What kind of Formatting should I use for the separate partition? Again, I want to make it case sensitive, and it needs to work with Linux too. Is "Case-Sensitive, Journaled" okay?

My first preference is a separate partition, but do you recommend a dmg (not sure about advantage/disadvantage) in stead of separate partition? Any major disadvantage of using a separate data partition? I am assuming it will be slightly slow considering it’s a different partition. My MBR has an SSD, so I am assuming it shouldn’t be too bad.

Please note this partition will only be used to hold data (not as a boot partition as I am not planning for dual boot).

Thanks in advance!!!

  • 2
    Is there any benefit to doing this? I see much pain in your future. A mess of symlinks, app compatibility issues, etc.
    – Alexander
    Jun 25, 2014 at 18:06
  • 1
    @XAleXOwnZX Thanks for the reply. I have been using symlinks to achieve this for Linux. I don't plan to do anything crazy with Apps or their expected search path. However, if Documents point to /data_partition/documents, I don't think that's going to cause any issues (just my 2 cents). I use Python scripts to maintain my symlinks, so they are never broken. Thanks for your help again.
    – Foo Bar
    Jun 25, 2014 at 18:13
  • if you need a linux and mac readable partition you may first need to take a look on your linux distro which kind of partitions it can read/write maybe it can't use hfs/hfs+ so you may need to go with a fat16
    – konqui
    Jun 25, 2014 at 21:33

1 Answer 1

  1. Yes, you are correct. /Volumes/(name) is the mount point.
  2. Mac OS Extended (Case-Sensitive, Journaled) is the best case-sensitive option. I'm assuming you know what you're doing with case-sensitive partitions.
  3. The biggest disadvantage, maybe, of creating a separate partition is that you can't use Boot Camp if you have more than one partition on your startup disk before partitioning for Boot Camp, meaning that you can't use Boot Camp at all if you only have one hard drive on your Mac. You said that you want the separate partition for Linux; do you mean that you're going to run Linux in Boot Camp?
  • Sorry, I wasn't clear. I don't plan to install Linux on a separate partition (so, no boot camp). The partition is only going to be used for holding data. However, I am going to install Linux as a VM using VirtualBox. Related question: In the response of #2, you said I knew what I was doing with case-sensitive partition. Could you elaborate on that? I know a few software (such as, Photoshop) only work on case insensitive data partition. Other than that, is there any disadvantage or something I need to be careful about?
    – Foo Bar
    Jun 25, 2014 at 18:34
  • @FooBar Oh, no problem then, except that making VirtualBox use physical partitions instead of disk images is harder to do. For #2, I was only referring to certain applications that require a case-insenstive format. Photoshop and Steam are two I've run into. I've never tried symbolic links, but you said in your comment that you think they should be safe. Mac OS X can even run on a case-senstive partition, so I would consider it safe to store documents on it.
    – sudo
    Jun 25, 2014 at 18:45

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