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Adobe CS5 installation fails saying it can't be installed on a case-sensitive partition. I have read the brain-damaged System Requirements where it clearly states "cannot install on a volume that uses a case-sensitive file system".
Is there a way to circumvent this limitation and install it on my mac case-sensitive partition?


(PS: "Just format your partition to be case insensitive" Answers are a NO NO)

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You just can't. Adobe software is, in my opinion, one of the primary reasons to not go case-sensitive. It has been like this for years, starting out as an unofficial requirement you had to know about. That they document it is a big step forward, actually. – Daniel Beck Feb 19 '11 at 20:47
hey! this came from CS3?? OMG.... – Mauricio Feb 19 '11 at 21:04
Might a virtual machine be an option, either for your development, or Photoshop? Of course it's probably a Windows or Linux VM. – Daniel Beck Feb 20 '11 at 7:42
up vote 3 down vote accepted

For Photoshop CS5 you can copy over an existing install on a case-sensitive filesystem and rename all the folders so they match. This method has been used with CS3 and CS4. I wrote a script for CS5 as well:

The same procedure seems to work for InDesign CS5 (although I only tested a few things), but Illustrator CS5 gives me trouble, it complains about localized files after the linked libs are corrected.

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Can't believe that worked but it did. I'm on CS 5.1. It's en vogue to jump on Adobe so I won't, .... nevermind, I will -- When we pay +$500 for software, I would expect that some of that money could be used abate the laziness that roughly ~8 lines of code solved. – jnunn Aug 2 '12 at 17:04

You can try this, it works for me with photoshop CS6

  • Make sure you have Xcode 4 installed
  • get the code: hg clone ssh://
  • go into the directory: cd adobe_case_sensitive_volumes
  • make the library: make
  • create a 20GB sparsebundle using Disk Utility, making sure it has a case-insensitive file system, and mount it.
  • create a folder called "Adobe" in your mounted sparsebundle
  • create a folder called "/Applications/Adobe"
  • run the hack (you may have to modify the Makefile to point to the right installer path): sudo make run
  • When you get to the point it asks you to choose an installation directory, choose "/Applications/Adobe"
  • Delete "/Applications/Adobe", and a create a symlink from "<your sparsebundle>/Adobe" to "/Applications/Adobe"
  • Now continue your installation as normal
  • Make sure that your sparsebundle is mounted when you want to use Adobe, and just go into /Application/Adobe, and choose what to run.

The only (insignificant) downside is that you have to mount the disk image prior to execute photoshop.

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Thanks, this worked like a charm with Adobe PS CC. – Jay Taylor Oct 1 '13 at 0:34

if you're willing to go through a bit of work, here is a project that will let you install from a case sensitive system to a non-case-sensitive sparsebundle. Essentially, it bypasses the installer checks, and then it installs into the disk image, and you run the apps from the disk image. It is written for Lion and CS5.5 - YMMV.

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  1. Purchase and install iPartition ($70, but worth it if it's your only solution)
  2. In iPartition, do a Create Boot Disk
  3. Insert your installer disk to make a boot disk from it
  4. Insert blank DVD-R to create boot disk through iPartition
  5. Restart computer, with boot disk inserted and holding "C" key on keyboard until progress spinner thing shows at start-up
  6. iPartition should automatically load. Choose "Make Case Insensitive" from one of the drop-down menus
  7. Let it complete this process...
  8. Quit iPartition and allow computer to restart, now from your "Case Insensitive" hard drive
  9. Install Photoshop as normal
  10. Drink beer. Celebrate.
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(PS: "Just format your partition to be case insensitive" Answers are a NO NO) – Mauricio Feb 10 '13 at 17:21

Another option is to get Carbon Copy Cloner. It's cheaper than iPartition.

  1. Backup everything with Carbon Copy Cloner (to another harddrive)
  2. Format the harddrive. Format it so that it is case insensitive
  3. Restore the data to the Formatted volume.
  4. Install Photoshop now
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(PS: "Just format your partition to be case insensitive" Answers are a NO NO) being a unix developer a case insensitive is non sense for me. – Mauricio Feb 10 '13 at 17:21

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