Questions tagged [filesystem]

The system used to format and organize files on a disk. This includes directory structure, permissions management, metadata, and more. The current default file system for macOS is APFS (High Sierra and higher) and HFS+ (Sierra or lower).

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How to set to open folder with enter in finder?

I want to set to open a folder in finder with Enter. I know it's possible to open a folder with ⌘ Command + ↓ Down Arrow but I don't like it and I never use it because it's easier to use the trackpad,...
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74 votes
3 answers
60k views

How to change path in Finder by entering the path manually?

It seems that by default there is no way to enter a whole path in the Finder, so instead one should traverse through all the tree to get somewhere deep in the filesystem. Is there anyway to overcome ...
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67 votes
9 answers
110k views

File can't be moved by root on OS X

I tried to move a few files to a subfolder on OS X. One refused to move. It said Operation not permitted. I tried again as root: $ sudo mv file subfolder/ mv: rename file to subfolder/file: Operation ...
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  • 813
60 votes
2 answers
14k views

Where should I store command line applications?

When I download command line applications they are located in my ~/Downloads/ directory. But I feel this is wrong place to have a command line application located. Where in the Mac OS X filesystem ...
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56 votes
7 answers
11k views

Do Macs need to be defragmented?

I don't see any application to defragment my Mac (running OS X). Is defragmenting not necessary for Mac OS X? If so, why not?
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  • 2,065
55 votes
6 answers
127k views

Mount Ext4 on El Capitan

I recently installed OS X 10.11 on my Mac. I tried to read a SD card with an Ext4 partition which wasn't even shown in Disk Utility, although diskutil did show it as a Linux partition. I can't seem ...
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  • 7,316
54 votes
6 answers
23k views

Can I make a DIY Fusion Drive?

I have a Mac Mini with two drives: a 256GB SSD and a 500GB HDD. From what I've read, the new Fusion Drive does all of it's magic in software, using the Core Storage APIs. Can I get my setup to ...
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46 votes
8 answers
95k views

Disable storage of invisible files "._" on my cfs or smb network storage

I use OS X Mavericks and have some company storage drives mounted (using smb or cfs). (smb://username@address.path.toserver.com/directory/data). When I work with files on the drive or copy files to ...
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43 votes
3 answers
38k views

What are the differences between journaling HFS+ and non-journaling HFS+?

I'm about to format an external hard disk drive (HDD). What are the key differences between journaling HFS+ and non-journaling HFS+? Apart from the fact that one has journaling and the other does not,...
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41 votes
2 answers
46k views

What is standard for OS X filesystem? e.g. /opt/ vs. /usr/

What does and should go into /opt/ and what should/does go into /usr/? My understanding is that /usr/ used to be for user home directories, but since they exist in /Users/ - what is the purpose now? ...
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39 votes
1 answer
36k views

OS X El-Capitan - /cores directory taking up a lot of space?

Im using a program called Daisy Disk to see what is taking up space in my Mac and I find that the /cores directory is taking up 77gb. Is that a problem? Can I get rid of it to regain the space?
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37 votes
2 answers
18k views

Excessive "Opening application for the first time" dialogs

I often get the dialog box warning me that I'm opening an application for the first time. But, it isn't the first time. Some of these are applications that I use daily. I seem to be getting more ...
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35 votes
3 answers
11k views

Strange case of truly invisible file (?) and undeletable directory on macOS

I'm having issues deleting a directory on my macOS Mojave 10.14.3 system. The filesystem is APFS and these are the symptoms: $ rm -rf strange/ rm: strange/: Directory not empty $ sudo rm -rf ...
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31 votes
5 answers
22k views

Keyboard shortcut for launching Apps in Dock

In Windows 7, Win + 1, 2, 3 ... 9 launches the first, second etc App in task bar. Is there a similar keyboard shortcut in OS X in order to launch Apps that are in the Dock?
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30 votes
4 answers
235k views

Easiest way to browse iPhone filesystem

What method of browsing the root filesystem is least likely to make any modifications to it? Hooking to a pc is an option. Jailbreaking is not an option for this question.
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30 votes
3 answers
12k views

Linus Torvalds and the OS X Filesystem

Back in 2008, Linus Torvalds famously said in an interview that "OS X in some ways is actually worse than Windows to program for. Their file system is complete and utter crap, which is scary." I've ...
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  • 462
29 votes
1 answer
110k views

What is iLifeAssetManagement, and can I delete it?

I have 5 GB of stuff in ~/Library/Application Support/iLifeAssetManagement and I'd like the space back. What is this stuff and how can I reduce its footprint?
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28 votes
1 answer
12k views

How to browse /usr in an Open File dialog?

I came to the necessity of browsing and picking up a file from /usr while using some programming tools, but I cannot do so because /usr seems to be hidden from Open File dialog. Is there any ...
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27 votes
3 answers
75k views

What are the advantages of formatting an external disk as journaled HFS+?

The application Disk Utility /Library/Utilites/Disk Utility.app which is part of the applications that ship with the Mac OS allows to reformat an external disk. Options include: Mac OS Extended (...
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26 votes
5 answers
25k views

Cross-Platform File System file sharing between MAC, WINDOWS, LINUX?

I've a laptop with triple boot, Yosemite, Windows 8.1, CentOS 7, and need a partition for sharing files between the 3 os's, i've been using exFAT, as it is supported by OSX & Windows but had some ...
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25 votes
1 answer
9k views

Why can macOS have two files with same name?

I found there are two files with same names but one with extended attribute while the other not (Actually I used sed command to do in-place operation with one file before): -rw-r--r-- 1 nanxiao ...
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  • 513
23 votes
3 answers
26k views

APFS on external drive missing from Disk Utility

When I use Disk Utility app in macOS Mojave to format an external drive, I do not see the new Apple File System (APFS) offered as a choice of format. Does it matter that my external drive is a ...
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21 votes
8 answers
10k views

Easy way to copy paste file paths on Macs

I am working on some long procedures that will need to reference a lot of file paths of documents located locally and on various external drives and servers. In all cases we are using Apple Macs with ...
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21 votes
1 answer
7k views

Why does OS X require admin privileges to unmount a drive from the terminal using `umount` but not when using Finder?

Anyone can unmount a usb drive from Finder by clicking on the "eject" icon next to it. However, only a user with administrative privileges can unmount a drive from the terminal using umount. Are ...
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21 votes
2 answers
8k views

APFS - how do I enable transparent compression

How do i enable transparent filesystem compression on any APFS volume? Or check if it is already enabled? I am expecting something similiar to NTFS compressed attribute. According to Wiki it should ...
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20 votes
2 answers
79k views

How do I mount Ext4 using OS X Fuse

I installed OS X Fuse on OS X 10.9.4 as outlined in http://osxdaily.com/2014/03/20/mount-ext-linux-file-system-mac/ Unfortunately it does not mount any of my Linux filesystems (on external HD or SD ...
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  • 7,316
20 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can someone describe the purpose of OSX root level folders in laymen's terms?

Simple and concise documentation on the OSX folder hierarchy is sparse. I'm looking for a simple description of each - what are the functions of each? /private /var /usr /tmp /etc /bin /sbin /...
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19 votes
2 answers
13k views

Does it make sense to format an external HDD as APFS?

I’m currently on macOS Sierra and will upgrade to macOS High Sierra as soon as it comes out, which means my machine will be using APFS. I also have an external HDD (not SSD) that has quite a few ...
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  • 1,453
16 votes
5 answers
8k views

Is it possible to edit the path and view the folder path in the Finder?

I'm not sure what it is called on the Mac, but when I open my Downloads folder (or any other folder), I'm referring to this file explorer window that shows me my file structure. I know there are ...
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16 votes
3 answers
19k views

How can I rename a Logical Volume Group?

I have noticed that while I can safely change the name of the Logical Volume (LM Volume) in /Volumes (currently: Apple SSD), I cannot find a way to change the name of the Logical Volume Group (...
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15 votes
2 answers
3k views

What exactly are the files . and .. on mac?

Anecdotally, files called . and .. seem to often (always?) be present inside otherwise 'empty' directories on macOS. Example Create a new directory (with nothing in it) mkdir test cd into it cd test ...
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15 votes
2 answers
21k views

Permanently change mount point of volume?

I'd like to set another user's home folder to use a certain volume on my disk. To that end, I'd like to be able to mount said volume at a specific location, say, at Users/foobar I can do this using ...
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15 votes
2 answers
26k views

Can you reinstall OS X on a FileVault 2-encrypted drive?

I've been researching FileVault 2 to make sure that I understand it before I enable it on my Mac. While reading Macworld's Complete guide to FileVault 2 in Lion, I encountered an unexpected caveat (...
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15 votes
1 answer
13k views

Why doesn't /proc exist in OS X?

What is the reason that /proc does not exist in OS X? I was curious to find file descriptors that a process was using in my Mac. The way I do it in linux is to go in /proc/fd folder of that process. ...
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14 votes
4 answers
27k views

How do I rename a file in git that differs by case only?

In my git (Xcode) project, I committed a filename with improper case. Now I went to try to rename it, but when I commit, I get: fatal: Will not add file alias 'MyProject/MyFile.h' ('MyProject/...
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  • 3,912
14 votes
5 answers
12k views

How many files in a folder is too many? [closed]

Many years ago I vaguely recall that the Finder in Mac OS X would start having problems if a folder contained 2,000 - 3,000 items or more. Apple doc says that the HFS Plus file system has a ...
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14 votes
4 answers
67k views

How to write on FAT32 and NTFS from Mountain Lion? [duplicate]

What is the best free software for OS X Mountain Lion for enabling write support for FAT32 and NTFS?
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13 votes
3 answers
7k views

Are the OSX Mavericks tags visible from the command line?

For example, suppose I have a directory structure such as /Users /tlehman /Math algebraic_varieties.tex [tagged: Math, Documentation] projective_geometry.pdf [...
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  • 267
13 votes
4 answers
31k views

How to mount EXT4 disk on 10.15?

Since I have osxfuse installed it would be nice if I could use it. There are a lot of (heavily) outdated articles here, saying that it is not possible. Is this still the case?
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13 votes
4 answers
22k views

diskutil: get total and available space on macOS using APFS

On macOS High Sierra, with SSD formatted with APFS, I've got: diskutil info -all Device Identifier: disk0 Device Node: /dev/disk0 Whole: Yes Part ...
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13 votes
1 answer
10k views

HFS+ vs APFS: What are the pros/cons of converting HDDs to APFS?

I've got a few USB 3.0 HDDs I use for backup and game storage, all formatted in HFS+. What are the advantages/disadvantages of migrating to APFS on an HDD?
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13 votes
2 answers
12k views

Allow all applications to access Desktop, Documents, and Downloads in Catalina

How do I disable the macOS Catalina security feature that prevents apps from accessing the Desktop, Documents, and Downloads folders without my permission? The ideal fix would be something that I can ...
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13 votes
5 answers
23k views

Why isn't finder finding all files?

I had a Smart Search for my Photo Stream files located at ~/Library/Application Support/iLifeAssetManagement/assets/sub/, searching for JPG and PNG files. I found that not all files were showing up. ...
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12 votes
4 answers
14k views

What filesystems does iOS use?

I can't find this information documented anywhere. What filesystems do iOS devices use? Did Apple stick with HFS+? Is it different between devices and iOS versions?
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  • 1,000
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Difference between root ('/') and "Computer"

If I open the finder and navigate to Go>Computer, then I am presented with all the mounts, while navigating to the root / using Shift+Command+G seems to be a different directory. In particular it ...
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  • 245
12 votes
1 answer
5k views

A command line utility to test the status of files in iCloud drive directory

Is there a command-line program that determines the status of files (uploaded, uploading, ineligible, etc) in the iCloud drive? For example, I would like to be able to use a program such as find to ...
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  • 659
12 votes
3 answers
21k views

How to tell if I'm using HFS+ or APFS?

Using diskutil, or other command line tools, how can I determine which filesystem I'm using? # sw_vers ProductName: Mac OS X ProductVersion: 10.8.5 BuildVersion: 12F45
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11 votes
4 answers
46k views

Mount folder as a volume (OSX)

Is it possible to (auto) 'mount' folders as Volumes? I have a large DAS Volume, 'Data', that contains all my data. To make paths shorter and more future proof, I'd like to have Volumes like /...
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  • 148
11 votes
1 answer
3k views

File duplication takes no disk space!

I have a question that's probably not asked too often, because it has little negative impact on the user. I can't find it on The Google anyway. So this question is for the edification of the curious-...
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  • 317
11 votes
3 answers
13k views

What folders should I be backing up? Are there any I should avoid?

I'm in the process of configuring a cloud backup for my OS X machine and am trying decide what folders to back up and whether there are any folders I should avoid. I have complete control, by folder,...
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