case sensitivity and UNIX


Does anyone notice that if you try to rename a file to one whose only difference from the old is the case, mac os x will not allow you?

Like: mv here HERE

This is illegal. I thought this was unix, no? Did some in Apple tweak with the unix system to make HERE the same as here? Would I be dreaming an impossible dream that there be a switch to allow me to distinguish here from HERE?

It's actually the underlying filesystem, HFS+. Since it is case-preserving, but not case-sensitive, HERE and here (and HeRe, etc...) are the same file. Your only choice would be to use UFS, which some have reported to be slower (and completely inaccessible to Classic).

The case-preserving issue is why you can do something like LS and have it work...

If you need to have a UFS filesystem, the easiest way would be to create a blank image in Disk Copy, and use that.
What is HFS and UFS?

OK, OK, I get the point, no way to make it case-sensitive. Oh well. OS X is more of a hybrid of unix and mac classic (opinion not based solely on this topic). Well you win some and lose some. But I still like OS X more than anything I've seen (well, maybe not Mandrake Linux).

Hey, if it weren't for acronyms, the tech industry would probably still be trying to spell out ENIAC...

Seriously, HFS/HFS+ are the Mac-style filesystems (Hierarchical File System, I believe it spells out to); HFS was the standard, HFS+ the extended and introduced in 8.1. UFS is Unix File System, whose lineage should be pretty obvious...

But yeah, the hybrid-ness (new word?) of Mac OS X is kinda strange at times, when you do things like combine HFS+ with Unix, you get what you've seen; and other oddities at times as well.