gabriel rosenkoetter on 27 Mar 2009 12:36:28 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Mac Mini/BSD question

At 2009-03-27 10:22 -0500, Art Alexion <> wrote:
> It has a 70 GB system partition, and another, seemingly hidden  
> partition named "`" with some system files on it

That is Not Normal. Quite probably a typo on the prior user's part.
It looks like the sort of thing that someone might have created by
planning to make the argument to tar(1)'s -f the result of a
backticked expression but accidentally escaping the backtick and
then hitting ^C to get out, as that looks like a subset of what
should be under the root partition.

> The partition is not viewable in the Finder app.

You should be able to see the partition in Disk Utility (in the
finder hit command-shift-u to open the Utilities folder, Disk Utility
is in there) and see whence it's mounted... if it's not actually
just a directory, which I think it problem is. Does it show up in
df(1) or mount(8) output?

> Any idea what this is and whether I can get rid of it?

I'd need to see mtree(8) output to confirm my suspicion above (that
it was an accidental tar(1) call), but if I'm right, you can safely
remove it.

> Is the shell bash?

I believe the default shell is tcsh(1), but it's been a while since I
went from a clean install. (I always use zsh(1), but bash(1) should
also be installed by default.) You can use chfn(1) (as you would
on any BSD system) to change it (provided you know the user or an
admin password).

At 2009-03-27 08:51 -0700, Edmond Rodriguez <> wrote:
> I seem to recall when working with macs that one of the filesystems
> and the way macs make disks included a sort of fantom partition.

I'm not sure what you're thinking of here. Perhaps just that
/Volumes/<computer name> is a link to /? That's not really a shadow
file system...

> I don't recall real well, but this was one of the issues with booting
> XP from an external drive with this file system.

I'm not sure how that would have been an issue, presuming that you
had configured BootCamp properly. You would switch to the partition
on which you had XP installed at the second stage bootloader BootCamp
installs in OpenFirmware, so you wouldn't even be looking at any
file system yet.

> It was HPFS or maybe one that came earlier and also I think had
> to do with being able to boot.

You pretty definitely mean either HFS or HFS+ (which are still the
standard file systems for Mac OS X; roughly speaking they're a
modified version of FFS). HPFS was a file system for OS/2.

gabriel rosenkoetter

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