Using detox under Linux to scrub crazy filenames


Way back in the day, I always used NameCleaner from SigSoftware to batch scrub user files when migrating them to a different platform. Typically, it was from Mac OS (Classic) to Windows. Users of the Mac were infamous for always added wacky characters to file names because they could. Bringing their files over to Windows was a nightmare because of missing file extensions and punctuation that was allowed on Mac file names but caused havoc on Windows. NameCleaner would clean the names and add the extensions and usually did an amazing job at it. It was well worth the shareware fee.

Nowadays, I see issues with even copying files from Mac OSX users to new equipment. The whole copying of files can be problematic if users get creative on filenaming. OSX seems to be hit and miss at restricting users from naming files with characters that they probably should not use. Recently, we have hit a couple of situations where we couldn’t get anywhere on copying files via the OSX Finder due to filenaming issues. Forget platform migration, even moving from disk to disk now can be problematic.

Enter detox. It is a wonderful little tool design to clean up file names. It replaces non-standard characters, such as spaces, with standard equivalents. Fire it at a large directory of files that might have questionable names and it comes out like a champion. I took the hard drive with the messy files and mounted it via a USB docking station and copied the files off it to a FAT32 USB drive or different hard drive or network server and

to have it report on what it will do to the files in the directory. It will come back with list. Running it without the -n will commit the changes. You also have different options on what standards to use. It is a huge help on scrubbing files from users that can get a little nutty with file names. It is is the universal repositories of Ubuntu and guessing it can be grabbed via yum on RedHat-based systems.


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