Desktop file sync problem on Windows with same filename and small letters/capital letters

Hello everyone,
I have an ownCloud installation running where users sync with different operating systems from Mac, Windows to Linux in various versions.

Due to this mixture of operating systems, some user can create files and save them on their local disk that cannot be handled on other systems and the desktop client then runs into sync issues and people don’t get their files and/or are confused.

Go to a Mac or Linux system and create two files:

Windows will just sync one of them and for the second it will throw an error that there is a conflict with a local file that already exists. (tested with Win10, cannot confirm for Win11 or 8.1)

Question: How can we get around this? I mean if I rename just one of those two files like AAA_.txt everything is fine, but users don’t get it and they do whatever they like…and miss one of the 2 files.

Any idea here?

Best regards,

Hi Plastikschnitzer,

the filename case insensitivity is a Windows limitation, there is no way to bypass this.The only solution is to have your users advised that they must not create files that only differ in character case. The announcementcenter app could help you with that.

In addition keep in mind, that there are several characters whose usage will lead to problematic behavior while syncing, see Filename Considerations :: ownCloud Documentation

1 Like

Damn…thank you @cortho I was hoping that there is a solution but at the end, ownCloud cannot fix Windows or general operating system differences.

Thank you for posting the link to the filename considerations page, I did not know this list actually.
Maybe the uppercase/lowercase issue can be added there, its touched with the renaming issue in “Examples and Pitfalls” Nr. 2, but I think its an extra issue.

Also the list of reserved windows filenames, how can we add “Icon” (filename, not file extension) here? Its also reserved on Windows and cannot be synced.

If we come down to user discipline, this is a tricky topic as those who bring up the issues (Unix users) cannot see the result of their “invention” and the windows user who is affected at the end and who is missing files mostly does not understand the problem nor knows how to solve it.

Sure, the announcementcenter app is a great help here, but what do you think about some background job which could scan the filesystem and list problematic files for admins so that they can fix it? Or what about blocking files from upload in the desktop client / web UI directly? Has that been considered?