Friday, April 22, 2022

Why Do New Macs Have a /AppleInternal Folder?

Jeff Johnson (tweet):

The /AppleInternal folder, as its name suggests, is used by Apple engineers for internal development purposes. Some people external to Apple have discovered that creating an /AppleInternal folder on your Mac can cause behavior changes in macOS that may be useful for development purposes.


I’m not the only person who’s seen /AppleInternal on a new Mac. Michael Tsai told me that he saw it on his new MacBook Pro too. And there are reports of it on the web, such as a reddit user who found /AppleInternal on a new M1 MacBook Air.


Although you can’t remove /AppleInternal directly, you can remove the folder /System/Volumes/Data/AppleInternal with the command sudo rmdir /System/Volumes/Data/AppleInternal in Terminal.


6 Comments RSS · Twitter

Mayson Lancaster

My MacBook Air [on 12.4 Beta (21F5058e)] doesn't have a /System/Volumes/Data/ directory, but there are /System/Volumes/FieldService ,/FieldServiceDiagnostic, & /FieldServiceRepair directories, all of which seem to be empty.

Old Unix Geek

My M1 mac mini doesn't seem to have it (either /AppleInternal or /System/Volumes/Data/AppleInternel. I did upgrade to 12.3 though.

It seems odd that it messes up auto-completion. Is it in $PATH? And if so, why not modify $PATH?

@ Mayson: Finder labels "Data" as whatever the name of your volume is. Try `ls /System/Volumes/Data` in Terminal, and then `open /System/Volumes/Data` to show the same contents in Finder.

@Old Unix Geek I don’t think he’s talking about $PATH, but rather if you are typing a full path starting with /.

Old Unix Geek

@Michael: Ah, ok, that makes sense. Thanks!

Old Unix Geek

Apparently Apple is now deleting apps that have not been "updated" in 2 years.

This must be another way for them to break backwards compatibility faster, by moving work from themselves onto everyone else: you get to rewrite stuff that works so that they don't have to maintain the old stuff, and can instead make new stuff that doesn't. It's great. By the time you've figured out to work around their bugs, your workarounds won't work because the API has been deprecated.

Of course that means programming might want to rely on a third party layer which abstracts away all those shifting sands. Something like Flash... say React. It's ironic that's what Steve Jobs feared because it prevented the hardware from being used to its fullest extent. I guess Apple has forgotten that too.

On the plus side, for Apple, it means that any new rule can be enforced on old apps within 2 years. So they can be even more capricious than before.

Apple's new motto: "Build your business on shifting sands".

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