Filename case-insensitivity on OS X

Piet van Oostrum piet at
Wed Jan 4 09:00:04 EST 2006

>>>>> Doug Schwarz <see at> (DS) wrote:

>DS> In article <Pine.LNX.4.62.0601031400260.12047 at>,
>DS>  Tom Anderson <twic at> wrote:

>>> Afternoon all,
>>> MacOS X seems to have some heretical ideas about the value of case in 
>>> paths - it seems to believe that it doesn't exist, more or less, so "touch 
>>> foo FOO" touches just one file, you can't have both 'makefile' and 
>>> 'Makefile' in the same directory, 
>>> "os.path.exists(some_valid_path.upper())" returns True even when 
>>> "os.path.split(some_valid_path.upper())[1] in 
>>> os.listdir(os.path.split(some_valid_path)[0])" returns False, etc 
>>> (although, of course, "ls *.txt" doesn't mention any of those .TXT files 
>>> lying around).

>DS> Strictly speaking, it's not OS X, but the HFS file system that is case 
>DS> insensitive.  You can use other file systems, such as "UNIX File 
>DS> System".  Use Disk Utility to create a disk image and then erase it 
>DS> (again, using Disk Utility) and put UFS on it.  You'll find that "touch 
>DS> foo FOO" will create two files.

It seems that with Tiger, HFS+ can be made case-sensitive. I haven't seen
it, only read about it.
Piet van Oostrum <piet at>
URL: [PGP 8DAE142BE17999C4]
Private email: piet at

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