How ONTAP creates file and directory names

Contributors

ONTAP creates and maintains two names for files or directories in any directory that has access from an SMB client: the original long name and a name in 8.3 format.

For file or directory names that exceed the eight character name or the three character extension limit (for files), ONTAP generates an 8.3-format name as follows:

  • It truncates the original file or directory name to six characters, if the name exceeds six characters.

  • It appends a tilde (~) and a number, one through five, to file or directory names that are no longer unique after being truncated.

    If it runs out of numbers because there are more than five similar names, it creates a unique name that bears no relation to the original name.

  • In the case of files, it truncates the file name extension to three characters.

For example, if an NFS client creates a file named specifications.html, the 8.3 format file name created by ONTAP is specif~1.htm. If this name already exists, ONTAP uses a different number at the end of the file name. For example, if an NFS client then creates another file named specifications_new.html, the 8.3 format of specifications_new.html is specif~2.htm.