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I have a network (samba) share mounted at /run/user/1000/gvfs/smb-share:server=wdmycloud,share=family. Most activities work fine within the share - I can move stuff around, create and delete files, etc. However, if I cd into Music/Various Artists (both of which definitely exist) and try to create a specific directory, it fails:

$ mkdir "Pretty in Pink: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack"
mkdir: cannot create directory ‘Pretty in Pink: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack’: No such file or directory

mkdir -p also fails:

$ mkdir -p "Pretty in Pink: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack"
mkdir: cannot create directory ‘Pretty in Pink: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack’: No such file or directory

However, mkdir functions fine for other directory names:

$ mkdir test
# no output, directory created

What's special about the name Pretty in Pink: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack that mkdir chokes on it? How can I get around this issue?

Please don't judge me for the music, I'm doing this for someone else...

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Colons aren’t valid characters on SMB/CIFS shares — Windows uses them for drive letters. The failing directory name contains one, which is why mkdir fails.

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  • ... yep. Cool and bad. Good thing this drive has an FTP frontend as well.
    – c-x-berger
    Aug 1, 2020 at 16:39
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    @c-x-berger if you create a filename containing a colon then you won't be able to see it across the Samba share unless you've either mangled names = yes (horrible) or you've enabled catia and are happy for the colon to be rewritten as a similar-but-different character Aug 1, 2020 at 16:40
  • @roaima unfortunately, the Samba share is hosted by a consumer-grade network drive that I can't really configure that much. However, it presents other frontends (FTP, NFS, etc) that actually work and I don't think these files need to be accessed by anything besides a Linux HTPC.
    – c-x-berger
    Aug 1, 2020 at 16:42
  • Samba won't show "illegal" file names without the catia module enabled Aug 1, 2020 at 17:42
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    I’d say NFS would be a better replacement, at least you could mount your storage in a similar manner to what you have now. Aug 1, 2020 at 20:31

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