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
  • 1
    No ability to add answers, but this site lists some software and provides explanations how to debug and get them working again: jms1.net/osx-case-sensitive-fs.shtml
    – user588
    Jul 29, 2012 at 23:48
  • MODERATORS: This question has been closed and voted to re-open already: meta.apple.stackexchange.com/questions/1374/… Please read that and consider before voting to close.
    – user588
    Oct 14, 2012 at 15:06
  • 2
    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, 2012 at 16:39

7 Answers 7


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

Convert a partition from case-sensitive to case-insensitive


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:

cd meshlab.app/Contents/MacOS
ln -s meshlab MeshLab

A bug report has been filed here: https://sourceforge.net/p/meshlab/bugs/323/

  • Bug still exists on 1.3.3
    – mankoff
    May 10, 2015 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 beta.app/Contents/Frameworks/CulturedRuntime.framework
ln -s Versions versions
  • I can't reproduce the problem with version 2.5.4. Jul 13, 2015 at 17:29

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

  • 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. Jul 13, 2015 at 19:46


Error message

I then put the path on a case-insensitive filesystem, but the program exits after update. I then tried manually run the binary from command line (to see whether it provides more detailed error message):


Running this twice and it works. Note that the log is different, so it definitely did something different the second time, even though it looks the same in GUI.

Note: this doesn’t mean that all games work. It’s only about Steam itself.



OneDrive won’t synchronize your folder if it’s in a case-sensitive volume. The application itself seems to work, so I created a case-insensitive data volume and moved my OneDrive folder there.

Version: 19.192.0926.0012

Note: I’m using APFS not HFS+ but I think they will cause same issues.


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

  • 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 Jul 13, 2015 at 17:40
  • 1
    Correct. Not currently an issue.
    – mankoff
    Jul 13, 2015 at 19:12

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