Posted almost 6 years ago. Visible to the public. Linked content.

Git & Mac: Working with Unicode filenames

I had some problems with Git and the file spec/fixtures/ČeskýÁČĎÉĚÍŇÓŘŠŤÚŮÝŽáčďéěíňóřšťúůýž. After pulling the latest commits, it would show that file as untracked, but adding and committing it would throw error: pathspec 'check in unicode fixture file once again' did not match any file(s) known to git.


Install Git version > 1.8.2 using homebrew and set

git config --global core.precomposeunicode true



According to the linked Stackoverflow post …

… the cause is the different implementation of how the filesystem stores the file name.
In Unicode, Ü can be represented in two ways, one is by Ü alone, the other is by U + "combining umlaut character". A Unicode string can contain both forms, but as it's confusing to have both, the file system normalizes the unicode string by setting every umlauted-U to Ü, or U + "combining umlaut character".

Linux uses the former method, called Normal-Form-Composed (or NFC), and Mac OS X uses the latter method, called Normal-Form-Decomposed (NFD).

Apparently Git doesn't care about this point and simply uses the byte sequence of the filename, which leads to the problem you're having.

Dominik 08.13: Currently, checking out branches still does not work for me.

By refactoring problematic code and creating automated tests, makandra can vastly improve the maintainability of your Rails application.

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Dominik Schöler
Last edit:
almost 6 years ago
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