is utf-8 the standard filename encoding?

Roberto Alsina roberto.alsina at
Wed Dec 21 12:16:37 UTC 2011

On 12/20/2011 11:51 PM, Martin Pool wrote:
> 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
> UTF-8?
> (I see a bit of discussion in
> but nothing more.)

Yes, on Linux, most of thetime it's UTF-8. However:

* Most of the time is not all the time ;-)
* People sometimes have files where the name is not valid UTF-8, even on 
filesystems where UTF-8 is the standard

On U1 we have a lot of code to handle this, because we also deal with 
windows, where things are completely different.

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