[Samba] Filename problem (filenames containing slashes aka.\and /)

Simon Hobson shobson-lists at colony.com
Wed Sep 22 08:54:47 GMT 2004

Mark C. Casey wrote:

>We _cannot_ go about renaming files, for a 
>number of reasons.. the primary being some of 
>the files are technically not ours to alter 
>without a clients permission (names and all) and 
>you don't understand just how many files there 
>are. There are quite probably thousands of 
>files, spread across _hundreds_ of cds and dvds 
>which comes to a total of roughly 400GB.

I understand what you are saying, but it doesn't 
change the situation - that no-one has a 
'solution' for you. Perhaps there is some 'middle 
ground' you can explore (see below).

>As to a Mac server, i'm not sure how much they 
>cost but i'm guessing a lot for what i'm wanting.
>I'm planning on building a RAID-5 fileserver 
>running Linux (still undecided on distro) most 
>likely running Netatalk and Samba. The server 
>itself i'm planning for roughly 1TB of storage, 
>possibly more. (at the moment in my plans it 
>calls for 6x 250GB hdd's which gives me 1.2TB)
>The cost of the above if I use Linux (and build 
>it myself) comes to roughly £1000, which i'm 
>guessing is a damn sight cheaper than a Mac 
>equivalent server solution. (hell that's cheaper 
>than a normal Mac tower)

You are right that a Mac server will cost more than your home-brew Linux box.

FWIW, I recently had to decide how to equip our 
Design department with their own fileserver. I 
decided to put in a G5 XServe so that OS X could 
take care of any file name mangling required 
(Samba is an integral service with OS X Server). 
When I get time the plan is to integrate it with 
the LDAP database from the main fileserver. I 
also felt it was 'safer' given that Netatalk 
still has issues (not least that it stores files 
differently to OS X via Samba) and they still 
have OS 9 machines which don't natively talk to 
Samba servers. To be perfectly honest, the price 
wasn't all that much more than buying a rack 
mount Dell server - especially taking all the 
'incidental' costs (how much will it cost you to 
fix your filenames ?) into account. BTW, you 
haven't said how many users, you might find that 
you can 'liberate' a G4 that's due for an upgrade 
from someones desk, stick on OS X Server 10 user, 
and have an adequate server (400G isn't much BTW 
- our XServe has 500G of space available on raid 
5 (3x250G disks) and I expect to have to switch 
to an external XRaid in a year or two when we run 
out of capacity.)

So where can you go from here ? Well the obvious 
(but not very helpful) response is not to start 
from here ! Going forward you must educate your 
designers to avoid all characters that have any 
issues with cross platform compatibility - it is 
the only long term solution. For existing work, 
do you really, absolutely, HAVE to put it all on 
the server ? For stuff that's "spread across 
_hundreds_ of cds and dvds" just leave it there 
until you have to do some work on it, and fix the 
problems as you come to them.

As to stuff that you'd need a clients permission 
to alter, well go and ask them ! Many of your 
clients are probably having the same issues and 
wishing they could change the names "but they 
can't because the designers did it that way" and 
are afraid to ask you to change them. Combine 
that with only fixing stuff when you have to 
change anything (ie when a client comes back for 
some changes, get permission to sort the 
filenames) and I think you'll find that the scale 
of the problem is reduced significantly.


Simon Hobson MA MIEE, Technology Specialist
Colony Gift Corporation Limited
Lindal in Furness, Ulverston, Cumbria, LA12 0LD
Tel 01229 461100, Fax 01229 461101

Registered in England No. 1499611
Regd. Office : 100 New Bridge Street, London, EC4V 6JA.

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