Strip incompatible characters from Windows partitions!

Evan eapache at
Thu May 15 23:44:54 UTC 2008

After trying to transfer some files from Ubuntu to Windows today, I
discovered a very dangerous problem. I'm not sure if it qualifies as a bug,
so I haven't yet reported it, but it could be considered one.

Currently, the only characters that Ubuntu does not support in filenames and
paths are slashes, while Windows has a considerable list (apostrophes,
asterisks, etc).

Creating a file on a Windows drive (NTFS or FAT) in Ubuntu and naming it
with one of these characters causes Windows to be unable to read the file
and anything beneath it in the directory structure. This is extremely

- renaming files or folders near C:\ on your Windows partition could render
it unable to boot
- naming a business document on a flash drive could prevent you from opening
it that important meeting

Ubuntu needs to automatically strip these characters (or prompt for a
rename) when creating/moving/renaming files on NTFS and FAT drives. If this
gets discovered and released as "Ubuntu causes data corruption on Windows
drives" it could be a serious black eye.

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