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At work we're letting one of our very tech savvy clients actually help out a little with a few development projects specific to him. However, he uses his own personal Macbook, and as he edits files on our (Windows) networks, his Macbook always creates a bunch of unnecessary meta files that we end up deleting later.

For instance, it creates a file called .DS_Store in any directory he opens, as well as "dot underscore" files for each file he edits. So for instance, if he's editing a file called "Main.php", his Macbook will create another file called "._Main.php".

I know there are ways to prevent creation of .DS_Store files, but none about how to prevent creation of these hidden files prefixed with dot underscore.

Is there any way to turn that off on Macs? Any way to prevent it from creating those files in the first place?

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Related topic, another one explaining what the ._ files are for. –  Daniel Beck Apr 1 '11 at 17:49
    
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6 Answers 6

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Have your Mac user install BlueHarvest.

Blue Harvest

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It's a commercial software. Anything else? –  Artur Bodera Nov 20 '12 at 16:38
    
It's worth noting that Ross Tulloch (the maker of BlueHarvest) offers a free version called BlueHarvest Lite. It is limited that you have to select and enable the feature for each new removable drive, but once set, it will keep that drive free of the junk. You can find it in the Mac App Store, however I'm not sure if it will work for network drives. You can give it a try. –  ADTC Jul 1 at 8:30
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Have him look into the free and aptly-named Cleanup SMB Mess application. The developer says:

This applescript droplet will clean up Windows shares mounted through the Mac OS X samba client, by removing all "._*" files, .DS_Store files and .Trashes folders on all the volumes and folders dragged on it."

I've only used with thumb drives and MP3 players, and it does what it says it does. I'm guessing it has to scan the device to remove the garbage, and that may be cumbersome on a large network share. But that's only speculation on my part. I'd suggest asking the developer.

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All of the unwanted files could likely be avoided by having the developer:

  • browse the network disk using Terminal and not the Finder (Finder is what creates the .DS_Store files)
  • use a different editor (since the editor is what's creating the ._FILE files).

What editor is he using? The ._FILE files are used to store resource fork data on filesystems that do not support files with multiple forks. Most modern Mac applications do use the resource fork at all; if they want to store metadata, they'll most likely use extended attributes.

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It's not only resource forks. –  Daniel Beck Feb 10 '11 at 20:52
    
What part of the linked document does not support that? 'When such an operation [copying from an HFS+ volume to a UFS volume] occurs, the Finder splits out any information that is not located in the data fork of the file and writes it to a hidden file on the destination volume. The name of this file is the same as the original file except that it has a “dot-underscore” prefix.' What other named forks have you encountered? –  Jeremy W. Sherman Feb 11 '11 at 5:44
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http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1629

You could also try using TinkerTool (http://www.bresink.com/osx/TinkerTool.html) - it used to expose this setting.

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Unfortunately, this doesn't cover creation of ._ metadata files. –  Daniel Beck Jan 31 '11 at 12:46
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Use a program other than Finder such as MuCommander to browse your files. (works on Local drives too).

In OS X lion, this method should allow default access to ~/Library without modifying settings or hitting ALT as well.

I use MuCommander on Snow Leopard and Lion and noticed that neither HFS+ or ExtFat volumes end up littered with files with these files.

Folks: there is another issue, File size... many of the resource forks at are least 4096 bytes even when the original file is under 4096 bytes so eliminating this problem does help with File System Bloat.

(For example: Download the Text file: http://www.gamers.org/pub/games/idgames/levels/heretic/g-i/horror.txt on a Mac and see for yourself)

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This is really easy and you don't need to install anything.

  1. Open Spotlight (cmd+space)
  2. Type in 'Terminal.App'
  3. And press enter (This should open the Terminal application)
  4. Copy this to your clipbpoard (cmd+c):

    defaults write com.apple.desktopservices DSDontWriteNetworkStores true

  5. and paste it into the terminal (cmd+p)

  6. press enter
  7. close the terminal (cmd+Q)
  8. Next time you restart finder, your Mac will stop writing DS files on network storage.

Ref: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1629

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This link was already posted by the OP himself, who knows how to disable .DS_Store files from being created. The method does not prevent ._ files from being created though, as these are resource forks (and others) that are always written by the OS, even if you enable the DSDontWriteNetworkStores option. –  slhck Apr 4 '13 at 9:09
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