Re: MacOS file system ?

Mathew Burrack (
Mon, 02 Mar 1998 17:13:07 -0500

Gerhard Fuellgrabe wrote:

> Hi.
> I'm using kernel 2.0.33 at the present time, and I often exchange
> ZIP disks with our local newspaper editors. They are using Power
> Macs, and the disks I receive from them contain crippled file-
> names but a resource.frk directory. It would be very interesting
> to have the zip disks read/writeable with the MacOS fs. Will that
> be supported in the near future?
> Regards,
> Gerry

I'm guessing here, but from the facts that A) you can already read the disk
and B) the description of "crippled" file names (let me guess, an '!' and then
the file name in DOS format, right?) and the resource.frk directory, I'm going
to assume that they're using PC Exchange on the Mac end to write the files to
an IBM ZIP disk.

Now, as you work on a newspaper, and you're using ZIP disks instead of
floppys, I'm going to further assume that you are (at least mostly) dealing
with graphics files. In that case--if your graphics program is descent
enough--you can just save the file on the Mac in an IBM format (the Mac will
store it just fine.) Then have the Mac people transfer it to the ZIP disk just
as usual (it probably helps to rename it to a 8-3 convention, first.) Your
IBM--whether Linux or Win95--will read the disk just fine, as you already
know, and furthermore the files can be opened by any IBM program that supports
them. The resource.frk directory will contain matching files for the ones on
the ZIP disk, but they should all be of length 0 if they were saved in an IBM
(What PC Exchange is doing here is basically splitting up the data and
resource forks of a Mac file and saving them in two separate files--the data
fork goes into the default file, while the resource fork goes into a matching
file in the resource.frk directory. Since IBM format files don't have a
resource fork--even when stored on a Mac--you can simply read the data fork
file on an IBM just like any other IBM file.) Text files work the same way, if
not simpler, since just about any program can open text files.

As for the kernel supporting the MacOS filesys (I think it's HPFS or HFS,
isn't it? Anybody?) , it would be rather difficult, since you have the
two-forked files to deal with in the transition--in this case, any support
would probably turn out to be similar to PC Exchange--the two forks split into
their own files. Unless you have programs that could read Mac files combined
in a certain format (there are several standards, actually, for representing
the two forks on a one-fork system such as FAT), it's probably much easier
just to have the Mac wizards save the files in an IBM format you can read and
let it rest.

And, as a side note, it may not seem like it at first, but if you--like
me--own both a Mac and an IBM, it's worth it to record MP3's on the Mac and
move them over. They don't require any conversion (they're only a data fork),
and the Macs--because of their SCSI CD-ROMs and the built-in conversion from
CD-ROM audio to digital in QuickTime--are far better suited (IMHO) for ripping
CDs. :)

And they sound WONDERFUL....

Mathew Burrack

To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe linux-kernel" in
the body of a message to