Desktop DB

Joel Klecker
Thu, 12 Dec 1996 12:44:58 -0800

12/11/96 at approximately 9:56 PM -0800, you wrote:
>> Can someone throw light on the format of Desktop DataBase on Apple Macintosh
>> machines? Pointers to where I can get this information are also welcome.
>I'm not aware of any official documentation, but my understanding is that the
>file is structured as a B*-tree similar to the catalog and extents files used
>in HFS volumes. Using similar techniques to read the file, you could probably
>decipher the key and possibly even the data format yourself.
Chapter 9 of Inside Macintosh: More Macintosh Toolbox seems to have some
documentation, it's at
>I seem to remember, though, that Apple changed the format of the Desktop file
>from System 6 to System 7, such that the data now spans two separate files.
>Unfortunately, I don't really know anything else about it.
System 6 used a resource-fork based desktop database(except for AppleShare
servers, which even under system 6 used the system 7-like desktop
database), the resource fork can only be a maximum of 16MB, and IIRC cannot
be "shared", since system 7 offers "personal file-sharing", it was
necessary to use the newer desktop database format. HTH.

Joel Klecker <> <>
Maintainer of the comp.sys.mac.comm FAQ
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
    -- Benjamin Disraeli