One annoyance I’ve had with Mac is that by default, they format their drives has HFS+ -case-insensitve. That’s right, people willingly choosing case-insensitivity in a filesystem. Overall it’s rarely gotten to me, since I’ve known about it. Only biting usually with CVS (README | Readme). Well, it bit me for a while without me knowing.
For a long time I’ve been very upset at the “Fink project”:http://fink.sf.net because *nothing* would install, upgrade, or usually even work with their system. Several times I would wipe it’s software and retry, only to die in flames.
Finally, while I’ve been testing out stuff I’ve been reading in O’Reilly’s “Mac OSX Tiger For Unix Geeks”:http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/macxtigerunix/ I decided to give it another try. Yet again, things were failing horribly, and I once again began pouring through various wiki’s, HOWTO’s and other documentation. Finally, I found an interesting little nugget, buried among the cinders of other people travails.
It appears that a source install of libwww-perl gives the option of installing a ‘HEAD’ function in /usr/bin, and at some point one of my upgrades selected that. Problem is, the standard HEAD function, doesn’t have a ‘n’ flag.
What makes that bad, is fink is programmed to use the Mac OSX version of /usr/bin/head (note the case change) which does have that option. Fink dies without that!. All of us geeks will of course see the problem with HEAD and head on a case-sensitive filesystem. Now, if I just had the time to reformat without that darn flag set.
Of course, now that I replaced my ‘head’, fink works, and I now feel the pain that “gentoo masochists”:http://funroll-loops.org/ enjoy that is extremely long compiles. But ad least I’ll get my KDE apps back.