[Samba] Windows 10 long path woes

gs at wvac.club gs at wvac.club
Wed Feb 23 13:26:42 UTC 2022

On 2022-02-22 11:15, Patrick Goetz wrote:

> I set up a Samba AD for some digital archivists. They have directory 
> hierarchies that look like this:
> \\staging\archives_staging\02_Processing/AR2016-040_Extranet\AR2016-040_02_GC-02_Records_of_Interim_Bodies_of_General_Convention_2009-2012\objects\AR2016-040_02_GC-02_Records_of_Interim_Bodies_of_General_Convention_2009-2012\Governing 
> Bodies of General Convention Documents
> The preceding is 274 characters long.  When I try to create a new 
> subdirectory here (using File Explorer) I get a message "The file names 
> would be too long for the destination folder" .  That's because 
> traditionally Windows file paths are limited to 255 characters.
> Fortunately, one can create a Group Policy which enables long path 
> support:
> GPO: Computer Configuration -> Policies -> Administrative Templates -> 
> System -> Filesystem
> Double click "Enable Win32 long paths"  and select "Enabled" radio 
> button.
> So I created this and applied it to the Windows Workstations OU under 
> the main OU.
> This appears to have worked?  If I go to the registry on a rebooted 
> Windows workstation I see:
> [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem]
> "LongPathsEnabled"=dword:00000001
> However, I still can't create a subfolder in the directory cited above 
> using Windows File Explorer, getting the same error message.
> Snooping around the Internet it appears (inexplicably!) that Windows 
> File Explorer in Windows 10 doesn't support long paths?  Can anyone 
> confirm this?
> If true, WTF; this is the main way Windows users interact with the 
> filesystem directly. What was Microsoft thinking? Also, workarounds? 
> The user working on this collection also has a linux workstation and is 
> modifying things over NFS, so not a crisis, but likely will become one.

Hi Patrick,

I believe that while that GPO enabled long paths for Windows 
filesystems, unfortunately any application that has not been updated to 
support the long filenames won't work, and that list currently includes 
Windows Explorer (as of Windows 10 21H2, my test case).
I tested a third-party file manager named "Files" 
(https://files.community/), and it does support long paths. Using Files 
I could create and manipulate content in paths longer than 260 
characters. Unfortunately, not all applications work with files in those 
paths. Notepad, Notepad++, and Adobe Acrobat worked fine with documents 
in long paths, but neither Office 365 Word or Excel would even open a 
document that had been copied into the path.

Perhaps this will help your archivists out and they can come up with 
workarounds to manipulate data outside of the storage paths if they need 
to do so.

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