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Mac OS X for Unix Geeks by Brian Jepson, Ernest E. Rothman

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Appendix A. The Mac OS X Filesystem

If you do an ls -a / on your Mac OS X box, you will see some familiar things, such as /etc and /var, but you will also notice some unfamiliar things, such as /TheVolumeSettingsFolder, /Library, and /Documents. The Mac OS X filesystem contains traces of Unix, NeXTSTEP, and the Mac OS 9. This chapter describes the contents of important directories. The tables in this chapter list directory entries (directories are denoted with a trailing slash) and provide a description of each file or directory.

Files and Directories

Table A-1 describes the files and directories you may find in your root directory. The remaining tables in this chapter describe significant subdirectories.

Table A-1. Mac OS X’s root directory

File or directory

Description

.DS_Store

This file contains Finder settings, such as icon location and window size. The file will appear in any directory that you’ve viewed with the Finder.

.Trashes/

This directory contains files that have been dragged to the Trash. On a boot volume, such files are stored in ~/.Trash. On a non-boot volume, these files are in /.Trashes/ uid /.

.hidden

This file contains a list of files that should be invisible to the Finder.

.vol/

This directory maps HFS+ file IDs to files. If you know a file’s ID, you can open it using /.vol/ id.

Applications (Mac OS 9)/

This directory contains all your OS 9 applications, if you’ve got Mac OS X and Mac OS 9 installed.

Applications/

This directory ...

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