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Re: Case sensitivity

At Tue, 13 Apr 2010 16:04:23 +0200, Ignatios Souvatzis 
<> wrote:
Subject: Re: Case sensitivity
> On Mon, Apr 12, 2010 at 11:56:07PM +0200, Hubert Feyrer wrote:
> > On Mon, 12 Apr 2010, Edgar Fu?ß wrote:
> > >What is pkgsrc's position wrt. case insensitive file systems?
> > >I noticed that cross/avr-libc fails to build on such a system (because it 
> > >installs both of share/doc/avr-libc/man/man3/PRI[xX]16.3 and similar 
> > >files).
> > >Should such packages be marked as non-case-insensitive-safe?
> > 
> > I've had a bizarre error scenario or two in the past,
> > which a NFS volume mounted on NetBSD from an OS X server.
> > I think marking problematic packages as such would help,
> > but there's no infrastructure for that (yet).
> $WE removed some part of critical infrastructure, to my knowledge
> and FSVO $WE, e.g. cvs-the-packge is called ${someprefix}cvs, to 
> avoid a conflict with CVS-the-directory. So building *in general*
> works much better, or so I've been told.
> However, I think that a package that needs a case-sensitive *target*
> filesystem still needs it. E.g. case-sensitive HFS or UFS on MacOS,
> etc.

It is now very trivial for anyone using current Mac OS X (i.e. in Snow
Leopard and newer) to re-partition even their start-up disk and create a
partition with an HFS+ filesystem that has the case-sensitive option
turned on.  Disk Utility allows any remaining free space to be split off
into a separate partition and at that point one can choose the options
for the filesystem that will occupy the new partition.  (Unfortunately
UFS2 is not an option, nor I guess will ZFS ever be an option either.)
(Sadly, and for reasons I cannot quite imagine, an existing filesystem
cannot be made to be case-sensitive, so you can't change your startup
partition without re-installing.)

I would very strongly recommend to anyone using Mac OS X as either an
NFS server or for direct hosting of any unix-y applications build a
case-sensitive filesystem to do it with.  Ideally all one's OS X
filesystems could be made case-sensitive, but it seems there are still
some Mac applications out there (primarily legacy apps from the days
before OS X) which misbehave if installed on (and sometimes even if used
on) case-sensitive filesystems, so if you use your Mac for Mac-specific
stuff you may want to keep the main start-up partition the way it is by

Sadly there are is other weirdness in HFS+ that makes it not quite
POSIX-compatible, but for most purposes so long as the case-sensitive
option is turned on then all is good for use with Unix/POSIX software.

My first encounter with the issues of case-insensitivity really bit me
big-time when I tried to check out the FreeBSD repo on my iMac, and I
quickly decided I needed a more unix-compatible workspace to do
unix-related stuff on.  To me case-sensitivity is a primary requirement
for any filesystem I put to serious use, but I didn't want to go to all
the trouble of re-installing from scratch so I still have a start-up
partition that does things the old Mac way.

                                                Greg A. Woods
                                                Planix, Inc.

<>       +1 416 218 0099

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