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    …if you’re running git on a brain-damaged filesystem.

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      Actually, if you’re running git on a brain-damaged OS. ntfs, while mounted on linux, is case-sensitive. Windows will happily list all files from fs in explorer, whatever case they are, but treat them as one. And this is deep in win32: http://i.imgur.com/sWnCMdq.png (that’s cygwin, while on linux, I’ve put a small file in the test dir).

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        NT can distinguish case, but the Win32 API cannot without a registry option (optionally installable from SUA)

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          I’ve totally forgot about this one knob down there in the deepest darkness of win32.

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            Honestly, NT is a good kernel, bogged down by the main userland API. It was designed by some people from DEC, leading to an interesting agreement between Microsoft and them later. This means a lot of it looks suspiciously like VMS.

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          Amusingly, NTFS supports files with colons in the name. (This breaks the hell out of Windows, of course.) For the most part, NTFS is actually a reasonable filesystem, but Windows has, for a variety of reasons (backwards-compatibility, certainly, but seemingly also incompetence? Cross-compatibility hostility?) a completely broken interface to it.

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            I think colons are for alternate data streams

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            HFS+ can also support case sensitivity (creation time option). It is generally a questionable idea to install OSX on such a fs though (I did it once accidentally!), but a person could certainly have a separate “work” partition set up that way. That said, I honestly don’t know anybody who does. This comment is only relevant as a piece of trivia.

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              I’ve been using case-sensitive filesystems exclusively on OS X since Lion and would highly recommend it to anyone working in a developer capacity. The only warning I’ve seen that regularly comes to mind is from Homebrew’s doctor command, and I’ve never experienced any outright failures of software that are case-related.

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                I’ve never experienced any outright failures of software that are case-related.

                Adobe is a serious offender when it comes to this. Photoshop will not install on a case-sensitive system.

                Here’s the hack around it: trap installer function calls, install into a sparsebundle, and symlink into the mounted bundle to run the program. Yuck.

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                  I’ve also been using case-sensitive HFS+ for many years and haven’t run into any issues in a long time. The issues I did run into were just with specific applications and they were usually very old. Installing to a case-insensitive disk image usually did the trick but I can’t think of anything I still have to do this for.

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                    Do you have to do something special to activate this? My experience with the default settings on OS X is that pretends to understand case, but in reality Directory maps to directory and dIrEcToRy.

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                      There is a case sensitive format option in Disk Utility.

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                        I do fresh installs and run Disk Utility from the Tools menu at the top of the screen prior to running the installer itself. As mentioned by jryans, use the case-sensitive, journaled option (with GPT).

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                      HFS+ is a contemporary and was meant more to compete with FAT32, not a shining example of a modern filesystem. It has features like resource forks and creator types not suited for a Unix, but OS X inherited it anyways, and added things like ACLs.