Git for Windows accidentally creates NTFS alternate data streams

Jul 20, 2016

As the only developer at my company who runs Windows regularly, I’m accustomed
to working around occasional Unix-specific behaviors in our build and deployment
systems. Cygwin makes most stuff just work, I can fix simple incompatibilities
myself, and as a last resort I can always boot into OSX for a while if needed.

One oddity that took me quite some time to diagnose, though, was Git’s strange
behavior when dealing with files in our repo whose names contained a colon.

What happens when you sync a file with a colon in the filename?

Besides the inital drive prefix (e.g. C:), Windows does not permit the colon
character in file or directory paths. Unix has no such restriction. So what
happens if a Git repo of Unix origin contains a file with a colon in the name,
and that repo is cloned on a Windows machine?

I’ve created a sample repo that contains
a single file foo:bar with the content


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