Friday, September 30, 2005

Inconsistency

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This is the story.

Few days ago one of my friends wanted to use a case-insensitive file system under GNU/Linux. Neither he nor I felt like Samba at that time. So he asked me to produce a FAT32 (because things were easy) by resizing his Swap.

I just did a swapoff, used parted to resize the partition and created a new one, changed the ID to FAT32. Then I did a mkswap and a swapon on the Swap to activate swapping back. After that I used mkfs.vfat –F 32 to create a FAT32. I also edited fstab to set uid=xxx,gid=xxx,umask=xxx, and fat=32,owner as mount options. Issued mount –a. Everything was done.

To test I created a file called “test” by touch. Did a ls –hal. Things were fine. Then I used vi TeST, entered some gibberish and saved it. Did another ls –hal. Oops! I got problems. The file was now named TeST.

So I thought maybe I should create the file system using DOS. I grabbed my UBCD (Ultimate Boot CD v 3.3), booted from FreeDOS, did a formatting. Got back to Linux and followed the testing a few times with a different file names, like sss. Yes! I got it this time. So I handed the system back to my friend and thought he would live happily ever after.

Few hours passed seamlessly. Then I found my friend looking at me startled. When I got back to his system I did a test again. No way! The file qqq turned into QqQ. Same things (working fine – not working – working fine – not working) kept happening for several times until we called it a finish.

That’s it. Anyway my friend found things up to the mark. So things got sorted out. But one thing I dislike is when software act inconsistently like that. Maybe afterall it was because VFAT was case-preserving even when it was case-insensitive. But, then why it worked fine sometimes. I’ll look in to it later.

As for me I’m living happily ever after in real world and in cyber world. Well, that was until my friend started bugging me regarding Samba sometime later.

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