Samba client/server cannot manage special characters

Bug #1612000 reported by James on 2016-08-11
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
samba (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

A little background... I have a media server running Ubu 10.04 with a media share containing FLAC files in a pretty standard hierarchy. This server (in service since 2010) has been accessed by machines running from 10.04 to 14.04 without any issues.

I have recently built/upgraded two client machines to from 14.04 to 16.04 and these machines are having trouble with that Samba-served share. If a file or folder contains a question mark, that file or folder will not be accessible--though it will appear in Nautilus and in the Terminal.

In the case of a file (say 01 - Who Are You?.flac) if you double-click the file (or otherwise launch it) you will get a file not found error; this is true in the Terminal as well (using, say, ffplay). In the case of a folder it will appear to be empty and if you double-click the folder you will get a folder not found error. In either case, the question mark is clearly shown in both Nautilus and bash.

If I create a share on one of my Ubu 16.04 machines (with similar parameters) those files and folders which contain question marks do not appear on client machines (regardless of version) when that share is mounted. Interestingly, these 16.04 servers are also not able to share files or folders which contain colons.

This is all with mangled file names disabled. If I enable it, I get mangled file names which share as expected.

(Other characters may be effected, but these are the only two I have tested.)

In short, files and folders containing question marks and colons should appear in shares and be launchable. With 16.04 this is not the case.

From the 10.04 machine:

  Installed: 2:3.4.7~dfsg-1ubuntu3.15
  Candidate: 2:3.4.7~dfsg-1ubuntu3.15
  Version table:
 *** 2:3.4.7~dfsg-1ubuntu3.15 0
        500 lucid-updates/main Packages
        500 lucid-security/main Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
     2:3.4.7~dfsg-1ubuntu3 0
        500 lucid/main Packages

From the 16.04 machine:

  Installed: 2:4.3.9+dfsg-0ubuntu0.16.04.2
  Candidate: 2:4.3.9+dfsg-0ubuntu0.16.04.2
  Version table:
 *** 2:4.3.9+dfsg-0ubuntu0.16.04.2 500
        500 xenial-updates/main amd64 Packages
        500 xenial-security/main amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
     2:4.3.8+dfsg-0ubuntu1 500
        500 xenial/main amd64 Packages

I am happy to provide additional details or tests as requested.

Robie Basak (racb) wrote :

Thank you for taking the time to report this bug and helping to make Ubuntu better.

If this is valid, it sounds like a bug that should be sent upstream to me. It wouldn't be appropriate for Ubuntu to differ from upstream on this issue.

Or if this is a bug specific to Ubuntu, please could you identify that?

For Ubuntu then, I'd say that validity depends on upstream's opinion. Please could you check if you get the same behaviour from samba built from the latest upstream source, and if you do, raise this with upstream?

tags: added: needs-upstream-report
Changed in samba (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Low
James (ubuntu-soundunreason) wrote :

I am happy to help. Should I test with a different distribution or (if you can give me instructions to do so) should I test on Ubuntu with a different version of Samba?

Robie Basak (racb) wrote :

I suggest that you test on 16.04 with the latest upstream release of Samba built from source. Sorry, I have many bugs to triage so I am unable to go through this with you in detail. You may be able to get further help from

James (ubuntu-soundunreason) wrote :

Ok, so this is a bit weirder than expected.

I didn't want to mess with an existing machine so I built a new machine with Ubu 16.04 and updated it. I found I was able to mount the (10.04) server share through Nautilus without issue and play files containing question marks. However, when I added the share to fstab I was not able to interact with files/folders containing question marks via that mount point. Here is my line from fstab:

//server1/share2 /media/MountPoint2 cifs guest,iocharset=utf8 0 0

It's pretty basic. It's the same as I'm using in my 10.04 machines as well. I confirmed that the same is true on both of my running 16.04 machines (and not just this newly built test machine).

This has no impact on the same problem as reported from a 16.04 server to any client (obviously). Is there something wrong with that line?

James (ubuntu-soundunreason) wrote :

I added the latest upstream Samba to my test 16.04 machine using these instructions:

This appears to have had no appreciable effect on the performance of this machine to read files with question marks in their paths.

(The "connect to server" method through Nautilus from my previous post also still works on this machine.)

Robie Basak (racb) wrote :

Thanks James. In this case you should report your bug to the upstream Samba project.

James (ubuntu-soundunreason) wrote :

Ok. Where?

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