[nSLUG] Thumbdrive filenames (Was: An unusual Ubuntu logon problem)

Mike Spencer mspencer at tallships.ca
Sat Aug 22 17:45:46 ADT 2015

Digressing from the Ubuntu login matter...

Frank Geitzler wrote [snipped for brevity]:

> Incidentally, I copied the entire '/home/jill' folder to a USB
> drive, using the command "sudo cp -r /home/jill
> /media/nnnn-nnnn/jill" The copy produced several error messages....
> cp: cannot create symbolic link
> cp: Invalid argument
> cp: cannot create regular file

I just noticed that, tying to do a backup to a USB thumb drive with cp(1),
the results are not as expected. I though I was being clever to add a
thumb drive backup to my usual backup to a conventional HD on a 2nd

  + Case is preserved in some filnames but not in others.

  + Case is not distinguished so foo and FOO appear to be the same.

bogus% grep /mnt/usb /etc/fstab

  /dev/sda1      /mnt/usb       vfat       noauto,user,rw,exec,sync

bogus% cd /mnt/usb
bogus% echo foo > FOO
bogus% echo foo > foo

   foo: File exists.

I don't have the error messages here from my attempted backup of ~/ to
the USB device but several of them were similar to above where
filename and FILENAME both exist on my Linux HD.

In addition numerous files with upper case names were copied with the
name in lower case while other were copied correctly.

I never noticed this before.  There must be am established fix or
workaround for this.

Is it wrong to mount the thumb drive as "vfat"?  Do you have to
reformat the drive to a Linux fs?  Is that even possible?  Something

I don't care about preserving the very few symlinks in ~/* but the
filename case has to be preserved.  What am I missing?

(Not apropos to Frank's original Ubuntu question but relevant to his
most recent post/question.)

- Mike

Michael Spencer                  Nova Scotia, Canada       .~. 
mspencer at tallships.ca                                     /( )\
http://home.tallships.ca/mspencer/                        ^^-^^

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