I have two folders on a Tomcat server:



(I know it is bad practice to use upper case, but it is out of my control)

Both directories are hosted on the server and there is no problem.

The problem arises when I need to store them on a SVN. When I try hosting both folders in the same directory, they overwrite each other, because they have the same name.

Is there any way of changing OS X so that file/folder names are case sensitive?

  • 1
    Requiring case-sensitive client file systems is just as bad (read: platform dependent) as non-ascii filenames and is probably not the best idea for long-term use of SVN, which can be used on Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows. Just a thought. – Daniel Beck Oct 27 '10 at 17:04

HFS+ supports both case-sensitivity and case-insensitivity. You can select which when creating the partition in Disk Utility.app. Some applications (infamously: Adobe products) break when you switch to case sensitivity.

To clarify: You would need to reformat the disk. It's not some switch hidden in System Preferences or anything like that.

  • 1
    I'd recommend putting the repository on a separate volume from the OS, and formatting just that as case-sensitive HFS+. BTW, I haven't used it, but iPartition claims to be able to convert between normal & case-sensitive HFS+ without reformatting. – Gordon Davisson Oct 27 '10 at 15:40
  • 1
    Technically, HFS+ does not support case sensitive file names, but HFSX (supported by Mac OS X 10.3+) does. developer.apple.com/library/mac/technotes/tn/tn1150.html#HFSX – mark4o Oct 28 '10 at 18:31

To get case sensitivity you're going to need to switch the file system from HFS+ to UFS.

This article briefly explains the differences.

  • It is not even possible to format disks as UFS in Disk Utility. – Daniel Beck Oct 27 '10 at 14:36
  • My mistake, looks like after 10.4 only OS X Server supports UFS. There should be a case sensitive HFS+ option, but I don't have my mac right now to check. Either way, it requires a reformat. – Neth Oct 27 '10 at 15:08

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