How To: Disable ._ Files and .DS_Store on Network Shares

How To: Disable ._ Files and .DS_Store on Network Shares

In heterogeneous networks of Macs and Window users, few things tick off Windows users then the “droppings” Macs leave behind in the form of files with . or ._ in front of them. These files are known as resource forks on the Mac side and store all kinds of really nifty information that makes OS X interact with files quicker and more efficiently. Among their uses they store metadata about files such as keywords, file size, and preview information.

None the less for various reason Windows (and to a lesser extent, Linux) is not able to always ignore these files and automatically sorts them to the top of the file view list. These files tend to be confusing if one is not aware of what they are. Or worse yet cause problems in directories with thousands of files present.

If on a small network with only a few Macs there is a program that takes care of this automatically. For $13 BlueHarvest works just perfectly.

Of course there is a simple trick to disable .DS_Store files. In Terminal run the command:

defaults write com.apple.desktopservices DSDontWriteNetworkStores true

If the network is Leopard only, then editing nsmb.conf is a good trick too. In /etc/nsmb.conf look for the following line: streams=no and change to streams=yes .

If the file does not exist, then it can be created via TextEdit or VI.

These files are only viewable under very certain circumstances but they can cause a lot of coworker friction, and worse yet even cause management to question the usability of OS X in the work place. These simple tricks will go a long ways to resolving those issues and making work much more friendly.

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