Latchezar Tzvetkoff

The Nerd Archive

Installing Adobe CS6 on case-sensitive drives (Mac OS X)

Well, everybody knows that Adobe are a shitty company. Their products are the defacto standard for image/video editing and designing, but their codebase really suck. No excuses.

The problem addressed here is that Creative Studio™ refuses to install on a case-sensitive drives on Mac OS X. And it doesn’t just refuse to install on a case-sensitive drive, but it also requires to install on your boot drive as well! Srsly?

Well, there’s a solution. I’ve just stumbled upon this, and I’m really anxious to share it. I’ve forked the code to update it for CS6.


  1. Xcode. You can install it from the AppStore.
  2. Command Line Tools for Xcode. You can install it from Xcode’s Preferences -> Downloads.

A step-by-step installation instructions

  1. Create a .sparsebundle pseudo-image to install CS6:
    mkdir -p ~/Stuff/Adobe
    cd ~/Stuff/Adobe
    hdiutil create -size 15g -type SPARSEBUNDLE -nospotlight -volname 'Adobe CS6 SparseBundle' -fs 'Journaled HFS+' ~/Stuff/Adobe/Adobe_CS6_SparseBundle.sparsebundle
  2. Mount the newly created image and create a /Adobe directory inside
    open ~/Stuff/Adobe/Adobe_CS6_SparseBundle.sparsebundle
    mkdir -p /Volumes/Adobe\ CS6\ SparseBundle/Adobe
  3. Create an extra /Applications/Adobe folder on the boot drive (we will trick the installer with this temporary directory)
    mkdir -p /Applications/Adobe
  4. Get the hack, compile it, and run it

    OK, at this point you'll need to edit the Makefile and set the CS6_INSTALLER_PATH variable to point to the directory
    The current one tries to find it automatically, but it may fail...
    cd ~/Stuff/Adobe
    git clone git://
    cd adobe_case_sensitive_volumes
    sudo make run
  5. When asked, select /Applications/Adobe for installation directory rather than just /Applications, but don't click the Install button!!
    Remember, don't click the Install button just yet
  6. Now, time to do one more hack - remove the /Applications/Adobe directory and replace it with a symlink to the /Adobe directory from the SparseBundle.
    rm -rf /Applications/Adobe
    ln -s /Volumes/Adobe\ CS6\ SparseBundle/Adobe/ /Applications/Adobe
  7. Now click the Install button
  8. You can now safely delete the intermediate files and probably move the SparseBundle somewhere easier to mount by just clicking it (the Desktop, probably?)
    mv ~/Stuff/Adobe/Adobe_CS6_SparseBundle.sparsebundle ~/Desktop/Adobe_CS6_SparseBundle.sparsebundle
    rm -rf ~/Stuff/Adobe
  9. That's it!

Just remember that you’ll need to mount the SparseBundle every time you need to use Adobe’s products…

Update @ 2014-04-01

You can also run the updater (Adobe Application Manager), with a slightly different command:

sudo make run CS6_INSTALLER_PATH='"/Applications/Utilities/Adobe Application Manager/core/Adobe Application"'

Note the double quoting!