I use Ubuntu since 1,5 years. I upgraded my computer so that's the time for backup, fresh install, etc. I will make a dual boot system, so here is my problem:

I have some (i don't know exactly how many and where) files and directories with special characters which are unsupported by Windows (partially in EXT4 and partially in NTFS partitions). I know files with unsupported characters (like : ? ") cannot be opened in Windows but these files are in safe until the next time when I switch back to Linux.

But what happens those files and directories which have same name and only differs in lower or uppercase letters? For example: The videos and Videos folders will be merged if I boot from Windows? If yes, what will happen the Somedocument.ods and someDocument.ods and Somedocument.ods files?

  • I thought ntfs was case-sensitive – Xen2050 Dec 28 '14 at 1:07
  • NTFS is case-preservative, not case-sensitive. – Scott Goodgame Dec 28 '14 at 1:47
  • 2
    @ScottGoodgame NTFS is case sensitive. It's just Win32 subsystem is case-insensitive. It was used by POSIX subsystem in Windows in the past, and now Ubuntu-on-Windows – phuclv Apr 9 '17 at 2:37

Nothing happens. They're still there. Explorer can display them just fine, but you have access to only one of them

For example if 2 folders have the same case-insensitive name, then opening either one will show you the same content

folders with same name

Same to files, you'll only be able to get one of the files

files with same name

In case a file and a directory with the same name you may get the below error

Case-sensitive file names on Windows

as in How can I access case-sensitive paths on Windows (created with Bash-on-Ubuntu-on-Windows)?


There is an option to make Windows case sensitive. Not sure what it is, maybe POSIX, but I'm afraid that would change many other things.


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