Case Conflicts in Dropbox for Linux

by @edent | # # | 5 comments | Read ~3,170 times.

I love Dropbox, I really do. It sits on my home PC, my laptop, my server, and my Android phones and tablets. Nothing comes close to it for seamlessly giving my machines access to the same set of files.

It even runs on Linux - well... mostly. All my devices run Linux, from my Raspberry Pi to my MacBook. One of the great things about Linux is that is allows for case-sensitive file names. That is, "Bob" is a different file to "bob".

However, lesser Operating Systems can't handle that. So when Dropbox senses two files or directories with the same name but different cases, it mungs them. Here's an example:

edent@xubuntu:~/Dropbox/test$ mkdir TESTING
edent@xubuntu:~/Dropbox/test$ mkdir testing
edent@xubuntu:~/Dropbox/test$ ls
TESTING  TESTING (Case Conflict 1)

That is very frustrating. And, it seems, there's no way around it. I understand that Windows would get its knickers in a twist over such shennanigans - but why can't the file corruption happen in the Windows client? Why can't Dropbox leave my sensibly named files alone when they're on a case-sensitive system?

So, it looks like I need to find a new Sync and Store solution - preferably one which respects Linux users.

5 thoughts on “Case Conflicts in Dropbox for Linux

  1. Denny says:

    Copy.com is the new Dropbox 🙂

    denny@serenity:~$ cd Copy
    denny@serenity:~/Copy$ touch filename
    denny@serenity:~/Copy$ touch FILENAME
    denny@serenity:~/Copy$ ll
    denny@serenity:~/Copy$ ll | grep -i filename
    -rw-rw-r-- 1 denny denny 0 Dec 17 12:45 filename
    -rw-rw-r-- 1 denny denny 0 Dec 17 12:45 FILENAME

    My referral link, let me show you it: https://copy.com?r=jqZyu8

    1. Denny says:

      Oops, copypasta error in there. Ignore the spare 'll'. 🙂

  2. Martin says:

    The problem of case sensitivity in file names is such an old acquaintance you can't show it the door anymore ;-). It started to hang around in the early nineties and has been drinking our beer since then...

  3. I have to agree with Denny here; Copy is much shinier. I'd give you my referral link, but he beat me to it.

  4. MichalD says:

    Copy is not case sensitive, what you see by ll is a local filesystem status only. Let check the status in the cloud - only filename is synchronized (unlike Dropbox without any warning).

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