accented characters in filenames mangled when rsyncing to a samba share

Matt McCutchen matt at
Mon Sep 1 21:07:25 GMT 2008

On Tue, 2008-08-26 at 23:46 +0200, Ben Kenward wrote:
> I am having a problem rsyncing files with accents in the names.

> I am running rsync on a QNAP
> TS-109 which is a NAS device running a kind of debian linux. Also on
> the network is a Lacie network drive formatted with FAT32, which I
> mount from the QNAP using samba. I am trying to set up a regular back
> up the contents of the QNAP to the Lacie. The problem is that any
> filename which has accents in gets mangled. The files copy across but
> the accents are mangled: if I view the files by mounting the Lacie
> drive on Windows then the accents appear as the box special character,
> repeated between around 10 and 50 times (with the rest of the filename
> truncated); if I view the files using ls while ssh'ed into the QNAP
> then accented character does not appear at all and the rest of the
> filename is truncated.
> A further strange behaviour is that when directories contain accented
> characters, around 10 or so copies of them are created, each with
> varying numbers of the box special character.

I have never known rsync itself to mangle names: when it creates files
on the destination, it uses the same bytes returned by readdir on the
source unless you request conversion with --iconv.  Consult the Samba
documentation and/or mailing list for information about how it handles
encodings.  If you know what encoding the network drive supports, you
may be able to fix the problem with rsync's --iconv option.

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