Accept dead keys (accents etc.) in Apache

Posted on 2005-04-25
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-09-20
I have apache installed on a linux box (Apache 1.3 / RH Enterprise Linux ES 2.1) and here in Luxemburg we use many diffrent languages so a lot of customers are uploading their files with special characters as é è ü etc.

When there is such a character in a filename, I can't open the file via apache (they a readable on the server, but I get a 404 from Apache).

Is there a correct solution for this or a workaround?

thank you
Question by:SiraX
LVL 51

Accepted Solution

ahoffmann earned 2000 total points
ID: 13864816
depends how the files are uploaded
i.g. the special characters are preserved in the filename on the filesystem, so that's not the problem

But if you try to use such a name in an URL of your browser, the browser URL-encodes anything which is not 7-bit US-ASCII, for example ü becomes %c3%bc  for details see RFC 2396 and RFC 1738

Conclusion: never-ever use such characters in filenames to be reached via URL, or teach you users how to write these filenames URL-encoded (hard job to do this for roughly 6*10^12 humans;-)

technical you may use mod_rewrite to filter and convert such characters on the fly, but  keep in mind that there are:
 1. serveral encodings in the wild (%-encoding, UTF-8, ...)
 2. europe has a lot of characters, just think on the danish, spanish, etc.
then you have to do the rewrite rules for all combinations of 1. and 2. ... better you go with plain odd 7-bit ASCII in your filenames :-/

Author Comment

ID: 13876988
thank you for your quick answer

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