I love the smell of unicrud in the morning

Dear Lazyweb, some program keeps shitting randomly-named empty directories into my Library/Preferences/ directory. Any idea how to figure out what's responsible for this noise?

    drwxr-xr-x    2 jwz  jwz          68 Nov  8 13:41 ›Á†êi®øˇfi/
    drwxr-xr-x 2 jwz jwz 68 Nov 8 13:41 ›÷êi®øˇfi/
    drwxr-xr-x 2 jwz jwz 68 Nov 8 13:41 ›†êi®øˇfi/

Update: These turds are coming from the TWAIN plugin to Photoshop CS2. Deleting "/Applications/Adobe Photoshop CS2/Plug-Ins/Import:Export/TWAIN.plugin" fixes it. It was creating these directories every time Photoshop started up, without any actual scanning being involved.

Logging fs_usage didn't help: when the junk was created, it logged mdimport indexing them, but didn't log the creator process. Setting up an "alert" folder action on the Preferences folder was more useful.

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24 Responses:

  1. hatter says:

    chmod -w the directory, wait for something to whine ? Probably check the syslogs at the same time in case it whines there.

    the hatter

  2. connatic says:

    Run fs_usage around the time these directories appear, or run fs_usage for a long time and trawl the logs.

  3. etfb says:

    I just pasted that first one into a Cygwin window and got Ae^ijava??/, which is telling. The second and third were similar (e^ijava??/ in both cases). That suggests something... but I don't know what. Go grep for 'Preferences' in any java classes you've got running at the moment, maybe?

    • taffer says:

      I just looked in my ~/Library/Preferences and I've got a prefs file named ^M11072004 (where ^M is a Ctrl-M character). WTF.

  4. duskwuff says:

    The last four bytes decode to "0xBFFFDE2F" in all three cases. Some horribly broken program not initializing its stack properly?

  5. alzdran says:

    What's your term rendering the text as? Better yet, what's the finder rendering of those names?

  6. recursive says:

    Ahh unicrud! My (least) favorite part about Ubuntu! Hint if you deal with that or other newer linux stuff: LC_ALL=C if you want grep to go at a reasonable speed.

  7. hexapod says:

    Another way to skin the cat:

    Set up a folder action for "add new item alert" to ~/Library/Preferences

    You may or may not get a lot of noise, but it should get you what you need to know.

  8. In my Library/Preferences:

    ACDSee??? Preferences
    [michael@ilovexemacs Preferences]$ rm ACDSee\342\204\242\ Preferences
    remove ACDSeeâ„¢ Preferences? y

    Weird translation there where ls doesn't list it but rm does?

    [michael@siddhartha Preferences]$ which ls
    [michael@siddhartha Preferences]$ which rm

    Ah, Fink. Are you using a non-standard ls to display contents of directory?


  9. mattbot says:

    I've seen this before and it sounds like a problem with Photoshop and the Epson TWAIN scanner plug-in. Delete the files and then scan something to see if they come back. Adobe blames Epson and Epson is silent on the matter. I don't know of a fix.