I have created a pdf under the name André.pdf on my server. However, I am not sure if this is the actual filename.

I first assumed André.pdf is the actual filename because I can access it through


However, when I connect with Filezilla to my server I see the following filename depending on the charset options:

  • André.pdf (Detect charset automaticly)
  • André.pdf (Force UTF-8)
  • André.pdf (Using charset iso8859-1)

If I use the terminal to access the folder via ssh I see André.pdf.

What is the actual filename on my server and how can I find it out? Is it Andrè.pdf because I can access it withwww.mydomain.net/Andrè.pdf? If this is the case, what do I need to change in FileZilla to display the file correctly?

  • FYI: Urls/filenames should be lowercase, no weird characters (like é) and no spaces. Filenames should not me charset sensitive. – Martijn Sep 20 '16 at 14:24
  • 2
    Not true Martijin, linux doesn't use Charset, browsers and other applications do. Linux files can be named any BYTE other than NUL, /, . and ... – Simon Hayter Sep 20 '16 at 17:12

The real filename would be exactly the same filename you originally named it. Your only limitation is that set out by the operating system and the filesystem.

OK, so looking at Comparison of file systems if you only care about the main players file systems:

  • Windowz (FAT32, NTFS): Any Unicode except NUL and /
  • Mac(HFS, HFS+): Any valid Unicode except :
  • Linux(ext[2-4]): Any byte except NUL

so any byte except NUL, /, : and you can't have files/folders call . or ..


Applications may use CHARSETS but this isn't renaming the file locally, its simply translating the file, the original file renames unchanged.

| improve this answer | |

FileZilla has a Wiki page about this issue with character sets

To paraphrase, it says that:

  • FTP originally allowed only ASCII characters
  • Some servers and clients violated the spec and implemented international characters with a locally chosen character set
  • The FTP protocol was changed to allow UTF-8 instead of just ASCII
  • FileZilla uses the UTF-8 character set and only UTF-8 despite that some servers may (incorrectly) use something else

You need to change your FTP server or reconfigure it to use the UTF-8 character set in order to be compatible with FileZilla.

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