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I have two questions which I can not find an answer by googling:

  1. What is the default or recommended partition type for the latest MacOS (Big Sur)? APFS case sensitive or case insensitive?

  2. What is the partition type if I buy a latest Macbook Pro (2020)? APFS case sensitive or case insensitive?

The question focus is whether the recommended and default partition type on the latest MacOS is case sensitive or not.

Some background: I am a Linux user so I use case sensitive partition everyday. But for MacOS, I am kinda confused what the current standard is. In the past, I knew MacOS recommended to use case insensitive parition. But does it change in the latest OS Big Sur? I heard some apps may not work well in case sensitive environment in the old days.

Thanks a lot.

2 Answers 2

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  1. What is the default or recommended partition type for the latest MacOS (Big Sur)? APFS case sensitive or case insensitive?

case insensitive

  1. What is the partition type if I buy a latest Macbook Pro (2020)? APFS case sensitive or case insensitive?

case insensitive

While I do not have a 2020 MacBook Pro to verify my answer, I would assume that since Intel Macs are case insensitive, that the M1 Macs would be also.

If you need a case-sensitive volume, you can just add one to the existing APFS container. Adding or removing a APFS volume does not require repartitioning.

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"APFS" is the default/recommended option. With this option you can use case sensitive/insensitive as you want.

If you want specifically a case sensitive name, then you can choose "APFS (case-sensitive)".

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According to Apple the best partition type is APFS for having the most recent features. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) is not longer recommended because is an old standard. FAT/ExFAT is used only for large USB drives.

Hope it helps!

More info: https://www.howtogeek.com/331042/whats-the-difference-between-apfs-macos-extended-hfs-and-exfat/

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  • If you were to choose a legacy Mac OS Extended (Journaled) formatted a partition when installing Big Sur, then the installer would automatically convert the partition to APFS. If you were to choose an APFS (Case-sensitive) volume when installing Big Sur, then the installer would automatically convert the volume to APFS. Commented Mar 13, 2021 at 10:52

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