NetBIOS Names (Was: Re: Directory listing in

Christopher R. Hertel crh at
Tue Jan 2 20:08:48 GMT 2001

[Charset iso-8859-1 unsupported, filtering to ASCII...]
> I must be mistaken... I can't find anything about name limitations on
> MS-DOS, and rather than assume I remember this correctly, I am going to have
> to assume that if it was an issue, that it would be in the knowledge base,
> so lets just work off the assumption that the only limitation with
> DOS/Windows 3.x is that a space bar is not permitted in the name.  (this
> because DOS has no way of grouping parameters based on "" within it's
> standard parsers, since it was never an issue in the past.)

I went digging too, and didn't find a anything other than 15 bytes (16
minus suffix).  I did find that share names were sometimes limited to 12
(!?) bytes.

I also ran across the reference to the space character being 'dangerous'.

Digging in the IBM docs, I found one case in which IBM said that, under 
NetBEUI, a name should not start with an asterisk (we knew that) or a nul 
byte.  This latter caught me off guard, but it makes sense.  The odd 
thing is that in IBMs case, they were talking about the name itself 
starting with a nul byte, not the empty string.  If you pass the empty 
string (eg. "\0", in C) you would get:


If you force the nul byte to be interpreted as part of the name, you 
would get:



Chris -)-----

Christopher R. Hertel -)-----                   University of Minnesota
crh at              Networking and Telecommunications Services

    Ideals are like stars; you will not succeed in touching them
    with your choose them as your guides, and following
    them you will reach your destiny.  --Carl Schultz

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