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Is there a way to prevent Mac OS X creating .DS_Store and other hidden meta-files on foreign volumes like NTFS and FAT? I share an NTFS partition with data like Thunderird & Firefox's profiles and apache's DocumentRoot, between Mac OS X and Windows, which is very handy. I don't mind if Mac OS X is not capable of indexing or otherwise doing the neat things those metafiles are for.

Note: It's not shared over a network, both operating systems and the shared partition coexist on the same disk, on the same machine.

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up vote 18 down vote accepted

If you are sharing the NTFS partition over a network, using SMB or some such, you can turn it off.

defaults write DSDontWriteNetworkStores true

Apple tech bulletin "How to prevent .DS_Store file creation over network connections". I have not verified that this still works with Snow Leopard.

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Thank you! I forgot about this problem. – Nicolas Webb Sep 28 '09 at 13:14
I'm not sure that works unless they actually are on a network drive. – alex Sep 28 '09 at 13:23
@alex I think you're right. The OP hasn't said how he is sharing the NTFS partition. I'll edit my answer, but it may be flat out wrong. – Richard Hoskins Sep 28 '09 at 14:45
Nope, not over the network. One disk only, Mac OS in one partition, Windows on the other, and a NTFS partition for shared files. – Petruza Sep 28 '09 at 17:51
@Richard Hoskins: your answer refers to preventing the creation of .DS_Store files over the network. There's no way of stopping this if it's on the same drive. @sudo petrutza: OP means Original Poster (had no idea either) – alex Sep 28 '09 at 18:01

I use this I set it up once when I got annoyed with the same problem. This method make the system do it all automatically.

  1. Create a script called by opening terminal and for example cd ~/Documents and type touch

  2. Using vi create the script. In Terminal type vi

  3. Press "I" to get in to insert mode and type the following (Hint to get # press alt and 3)

    # Removing the hidden files from my drive using the find command. Change xxx to the name of your external volume or path you wish to run the command on.
    # the -mount will stop the find command going to other volumes other than specified.
    find -x /Volumes/(xxx) -mount -name '.DS_Store' | xargs rm -rf
    find -x /Volumes/(xxx) -mount -name '.Spotlight-V100' | xargs rm -rf
    find -x /Volumes/(xxx) -mount -name '.Trashes' | xargs rm -rf
    find -x /Volumes/(xxx) -mount -name '._.Trashes' | xargs rm -rf
    find -x /Volumes/(xxx) -mount -name '.fseventsd' | xargs rm -rf
  4. Press escape to get out of insert mode and hold shift and press :

  5. Type wq! and then press enter

  6. Make the script executable chmod 775 ~/Documents/

  7. Test this out to make sure it works. You can easily do this by opening terminal and type cd /Volumes/(xxx) press enter and then ls -la to list all the files and you should see a .DS_Store if not navigate with the finder to the volume and then repeat the command and you should see one there.

  8. Open another terminal by pressing command key and N

  9. Type cd ~/Documents

  10. Type sh

  11. Go to the other terminal window and check the .DS_Store files are removed.

  12. Create a launch daemon. This means to run automatically so you don't have to do anything.

    Best way is to download lingon

  13. Create a daemon for you user account and call it com.remove_hidden_files.Launchd

  14. In the command box type sh ~/Documents/

  15. You can either type in the path or browse to it /Volumes/(xxx)

  16. Reboot the machine and try it out

Note if you rename your external drive, use a different named drive or path you will need to change the script.

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I like how this answer became a vim tutorial. Haha – macek Oct 8 '10 at 18:46
You can add Mac logout scripts without paying for third party apps by using sudo defaults...… – mcandre Oct 16 '12 at 23:04

I use BlueHarvest for this purpose:

Works across all volumes and not just network shares as per Apple's solution.

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protected by studiohack Apr 27 '11 at 1:14

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