Strip incompatible characters from Windows partitions!

Milan Bouchet-Valat nalimilan at
Fri May 16 09:42:28 UTC 2008

Le vendredi 16 mai 2008 à 00:06 -0400, Scott Kitterman a écrit :
> On Thursday 15 May 2008 21:31, Evan wrote:
> > On Thu, May 15, 2008 at 9:14 PM, Scott Kitterman <ubuntu at>
> >
> > wrote:
> > > I'd say that if there's a bug it's in Windows.  I could see a wishlist
> > > bug against Ubuntu to provide a way to check for this/suggest changes to
> > > avoid problematic filenames, but there is nothing inherently defective
> > > with the current behavior.
> > >
> > > Scott K
> >
> > I agree that there is no inherent problem with the Ubuntu code, and it
> > should really be up to Windows to support more characters. However I can
> > think of several situations where this could cause considerable problems
> > for the end user. We should at the very least provide a warning that
> > "Naming a file on this partition with any of the following characters will
> > prevent Windows from opening it. Are you sure you want to continue?"
> >
> > Evan
> Personally I'm against such hand holding.  If any such feature is provided, I 
> think it should be off by default.  
> I happen to have some legacy FAT32 and NTFS partitions for various reasons, 
> but the odds that they will ever be read from Windows are very low.  I don't 
> think Ubuntu's design should be predicated on the idea that it's an adjunct 
> to using Windows.  
Sorry for your legacies, but IMHO partitions with a Microfost-ish filesystem are meant to be used with Windows, and if you want to use the full possibilities Unix offers you, just use Unix filesystems. The default should be to be fully Windows-compliant - and you may add an option in /etc/fstab disabling character stripping. Why the hell would you use a Windows filesystem in a Linux-only environment?!

I can only think of cases when Windows will have to access one day or
another the filesystem: USB keys, external HD, Windows partitions on
dual boot... Samba does not provide Windows with invalid characters when
sharing files, and Linux must do the same with filesystems.

Hope Ubuntu is more modest than you appear to see it. Serve the user,
not the ideal technology you dream of in which every character is
supported in filenames. When you're working on documents, being able to
read it in a conference from your USB key is much more important than
being allowed to keep a '?' in its filename, isn't it?

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