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Re: samba + win = case (in)sensitivity evil

by MADuran (Beadle)
on Sep 30, 2004 at 17:25 UTC ( #395423=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to samba + win = case (in)sensitivity evil

There is a way to get a Case Sensitive Windows 2k/XP/2k3 with NTFS and that is to install MS Services for Unix It trips a hidden regisrtry setting in Windows to make it Case Sensitive.

It comes with a warning

Case sensitivity and system security

If you are installing Windows Services for UNIX on Windows XP or Windows Server 2003, you might be required to choose whether to change the default behavior of object names such as file names to being case sensitive. The choice you make will affect system security as well as how Windows Services for UNIX functions.

In Windows, the names of most objects (such as files and directories) are case preserving, but case insensitive. That means you can use uppercase and lowercase characters when naming such objects, but Windows does not distinguish between names based on case alone. For example, you cannot have two files in the same directory named sample.txt and Sample.txt because Windows regards the names to be identical for the purposes of identifying files. The UNIX operating system, on the other hand, is fully case sensitive, and so UNIX computers distinguish between object names when the only difference between those names is the case of characters used in the object names. On most UNIX computers, therefore, sample.txt and Sample.txt could appear in the same directory, and the UNIX computer would distinguish between them when performing operations on the files. For example, the command rm S*.txt would delete Sample.txt but not sample.txt.

In order to implement typical UNIX behavior, the Server for NFS and the Interix subsystem are normally case sensitive when working with file names. This can present security issues, particularly for Windows users who are accustomed to the case-insensitive conventions of Windows. For example, a Trojan horse version of edit.exe named EDIT.EXE could be stored in the same directory as edit.exe. If a user were to type edit at a Windows command prompt, the Trojan horse version (EDIT.EXE) could be executed instead of the standard version. If case sensitivity is enabled, Windows users should be made aware of this possibility.

In Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, the default behavior of subsystems other than the Win32 subsystem is to be case preserving but case insensitive; in previous versions of Windows, such subsystems were fully case sensitive by default. In order to support standard UNIX behavior, Windows Services for UNIX Setup allows you to change the default Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 behavior for non-Win32 subsystems when installing the base utilities (which installs the Interix subsystem) or Server for NFS. If you enable case sensitivity and then subsequently uninstall Server for NFS and the base utilities, Windows Services for UNIX Setup will restore the default, case-insensitive behavior of non-Win32 subsystems

source is install.htm from MS Services for Unix

And Yes the warning is common sense to a UNIX user. (I wish that they would make that a power user setting.)

A quick Addititon note for clarity: It give you the ability to use Case Sensitive names a UNIX like in environment (use the POSIX command, csh or ksh from SFU to use effectively)
Also: Posix use to be a built in (but hidden) system in Win 2K and earlier, I think MS is trying to runn away from after re-reading some newer documentation.

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