Renamed files on read-only local external storage cause "File was deleted from server" error

Steps to reproduce
1. Connect read-only, locally connected external storage on owncloud server version 8.1.x containing files whose file names contain some characters unknown in the ISO8859-1 encoding.
2. Allow desktop client to sync and produce an error relating to the strange characters (sorry - not sure what they were, they appeared as a '?'). File names containing the strange characters did not sync to the client.
3. Regenerate(*) those files whose file names contained strange characters using a UTF-8 character encoding and allow desktop client to sync again.
4. (optional) Upgrade owncloud server from 8.1.x t 9.0.8 (current stable) and run occ files:scan --all (which completed without error)

(*) The regeneration process was: a) delete file b) convert a flac file into mp3 format using lame and use iconv --to-code=UTF-8 to create the file name for the mp3.

Expected behaviour
After regenerating the files on the server-side, they will be re-downloaded on the client-side and there will be no errors in the client settings window.

Actual behaviour
The server-side files are indeed updated on the client-side with the correct file names, but there is a list of errors like:

mp3/Paul Lewis/Schubert - Piano Sonata D.845 - Wandererfantasie D.760 - etc - CD2 (2012)/03 - - Scherzo. Allegro vivace - Trio. Un poco piu: File was deleted from server

(in that example it was an accented u in "piu" which caused the need for re-naming the file)

The errors won't disappear on the client and the owncloud icon in the taskbar has a red cross.

I am currently syncing the files onto another machine to see if the errors will appear there. This will take about two days.

Client configuration
Client version: 2.3.1
Client operating system: Ubuntu 16.04

Server configuration
Operating system: Debian 8 (Jessie)
Web server: Apache2 2.4.10 (standard Debian package)
Database: Mysql-5.5 (standard Debian package)
PHP version: 5.6.30 (standard Debian package)
ownCloud version (see ownCloud admin page): 9.0.8
Updated from an older ownCloud or fresh install: Updated
Special configurations (external storage, external authentication, reverse proxy, server-side-encryption): Uses external storage to share specific folders read-only, otherwise fairly standard installation.

ownCloud log (data/owncloud.log)

Please paste possible errors in the following code block, see for more info

No server logs are generated for these files.

How did you "delete" the files? Sounds like you did this in the filesystem? In this case you would need to do a filescan to also eliminate them from the database.

Hi, thanks for the quick reply! You're right; I deleted the files on the filesystem; outside of owncloud.

By "filescan" do you mean something like this:

sudo -u www-data php occ files:scan --all

I've done that on the server side and it doesn't seem to have solved the problem.


you should never touch files on the file system within the data directory. This can have unexpected side-effects, even with the availability of files:scan.

Instead use a client like cadaver and do the steps explained in [1] (just use remove/rm instead of move) to delete files.



Do note that this is an "external storage" directory of type "Local" - that is, it's a directory on my owncloud server's standard filesystem which I am providing as a read-only share, but it's not the owncloud data directory. Surely I can change the files there server-side any way I wish, as long as I subsequently tell owncloud about it with files:scan?

Ah, that wasn't that clear to me. Yes, if you're using the "external storage app" this should work with a files:scan, everything else is a bug and should be reported to

Ok, I've made a bug report:

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