is utf-8 the standard filename encoding?

Martin Pool mbp at
Wed Dec 21 02:51:56 UTC 2011

We have a question in <> and
<> about what encoding bzr and Python
ought to assume for file names if there is no locale configured.

As a specific example, if you run a Python program from cron, it has
no locale by default.  It tries to decode filenames as ascii.  If it
encounters a non-ascii filename, it will likely crash.  People hit
this kind of thing a lot with bzr; we have put in a workaround but it
seems it would be better to fix it in Python.

My impression is the vast majority of filesystems use utf-8 names, and
that other Ubuntu software (Nautilus? U1?) assumes this will generally
be true.  Does Ubuntu have any policy that filenames ought to be in

(I see a bit of discussion in but nothing more.)


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