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Creating Clean Archives in OS X

September 26, 2005/ — It's easy to create an archive of a directory in OS X -- just Control-Click on the directory you want to archive and choose "Create Archive of [Directory]".

If you have to share the archive with users of other operating systems, however, some problems arise. All of the ".DS_Store" files that the Finder keeps in each directory end up in the archive. Also, OS X creates another superfluous directory called "_MACOSX" inside the archive (this directory apparently contains metadata). So what looks to you like a nice clean archive is full of OS X artifacts when it's opened in Windows.

It's possible to create clean archives in OS X from the command line. I do it as a two step process, but it could easily be shell scripted.

The first step is to remove all of the ".DS_Store" files from the directory you want to archive. Let's call the directory "foo". From within foo's parent directory, in Terminal, run:

> sudo find foo/ -name ".DS_Store" -depth -exec rm {} \;

(This comes from a Dreamweaver TechNote on the Macromedia website.)

The second step is to create the archive. To create an archive called bar.zip of foo and all its subdirectories, run (still from foo's parent directory):

> zip -r bar.zip foo/

That should create bar.zip, a nice clean archive of foo and all its subdirectories without all the OS X artifacts.

Ben (Updated)

August 5, 2005/ — Ben was born very early Friday morning. There are some pictures up, with more to come soon.

Updated August 21: I finally got around to adding some more pictures. You can find them here.


March 20, 2005/ — We've been meaning to make this available for a few weeks: a video of Mia skating. It's about a 4.4 Megabyte Quicktime file. If you don't have Quicktime, you can download it from the Apple website.

A note to those with sensitive ears: there may be a bit of profanity near the beginning of the soundtrack.


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Hannah is a fully accredited intermediate and senior Art and History teacher working in Ontario. Her C.V., her portfolio, and her teaching philosophy are available on-line. More»


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What's the point of having a personal web site if you can't put up self-indulgent pictures of your kids? More»

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