Filename containing French characters ?

Frank Bonnet f.bonnet at
Mon May 23 15:24:50 UTC 2011

On 05/23/2011 03:08 PM, Robert Bonomi wrote:
>> Date: Mon, 23 May 2011 06:54:44 +0200
>> From: Frank Bonnet<f.bonnet at>
>> To: freebsd-questions at
>> Subject: Re: Filename containing French characters ?
>> Le 22/05/2011 17:31, Mike Jeays a ecrit :
>>> On Sun, 22 May 2011 17:00:48 +0200 Frank Bonnet<f.bonnet at>
>>> wrote:
>>>> Hello
>>>> I'm going mad trying to Open a file which the filename contains one or
>>>> more French characters ( file not found ) Is there some magical
>>>> receipe to do so ? Or do I have to forget trying ???
>>>> Thanks
>>> If the first few characters is not accented, type 'mv "', then the
>>> first few characters,  in a command line, and press 'tab' so the
>>> auto-completion works. Don't forget the closing quote. Then rename it
>>> to something else.
>> Access right are OK ( 644 ) the completion does not work, the operating
>> system says file not found when I try to open it with any program.
>> when I type the "ls -l" command the file is displayed with a "?" in place
>> of the French (accentuated ) character
>> I tried UTF8 or iso8859-1 as MM-CHARSET and fr_FR.ISO8859-1 as LANG
>> global variables but it still don-t work
> The *easy* work-arouond -- it does -not- solve the real problem, but does
> let you work with the file -- is to rename the file.

Not easy the file is created by a software that extract it from a SQL 
> *Assuming* you are seeing the rest of the filename, _after_ the '?' character,
> then issue an 'mv' command, using the source file name _exactly_ as shown
> (i.e., _with_ the '?' in place of the unprintable character), and using a
> destination file name that is _without_ any accented characters in it.
> If that mv fails, try repeating it, but using an '*' instead of the '?'.
> Oh, there is one more situation that can cause the kind of problem you are
> seeing.  Does the 'ls -l' show it as an _actual_ file, or a 'symlink' (to
> a file that does not exist)?  A 'dangling symlink' can give all sorts of
> "strange" errors.
no it is not a symlink it's a "real" file

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