3.6 iFolders Data and Synchronization Considerations

Consider the following when setting policies for iFolders data and synchronization:

3.6.1 Naming Conventions for an iFolder and Its Folders and Files

The iFolder client imposes naming conventions that consider the collective restrictions of the Linux, Macintosh and Windows file systems. An iFolder, folder, or file must have a valid name that complies with the naming conventions before it can be synchronized.

Use the following naming conventions for your iFolders and the folders and files in them:

  • iFolder supports the Unicode character set with UTF-8 encoding.

  • Do not use the following invalid characters in the names of iFolders or in the names of folders and files in them:


    iFolder creates a name conflict if you use the invalid characters in a file or folder name. The conflict must be resolved before the file or folder can be synchronized.

  • The maximum name length for a single path component is 255 bytes. For filenames, the maximum length includes the dot (.) and file extension.

  • Names of iFolders, folders, and files are case insensitive; however, case is preserved. If filenames differ only by case, iFolder creates a name conflict. The conflict must be resolved before the file or folder can be synchronized.

  • If users create iFolders on the FAT32 file system on Linux, they should avoid naming files in all uppercase characters. The VFAT or FAT32 file handling on Linux automatically changes the filenames that are all uppercase characters and meet the MS-DOS 8.3 file format from all uppercase characters to all lowercase characters. This creates synchronization problems for those files if the iFolder is set with the Read Only access right.

3.6.2 Guidelines for File Types and Sizes to Be Synchronized

You can set policies to govern which files are synchronized by specifying file type restrictions and the maximum file size allowed to be synchronized. You can set these policies at the system, user account, and iFolder level.

Some file types are not good candidates for synchronization, such as operating system files, hidden files created by a file manager, or databases that are implemented as a collection of linked files. You might include only key file types used for your business, or exclude files that are likely unrelated to business, such as .mp3 files.

Operating System Files

You should not convert system directories to iFolders. Most system files change infrequently and it is better to keep an image file of your basic system and key software than to attempt to synchronize those files to the server.

Hidden Files

If your file system uses hidden files to track display preferences, you should determine the file types of these files and exclude them from being synchronized on your system. Usually, they are relevant only to the particular computer where they were created, and they change every time the file or directory is accessed. You do not need to keep these files, and synchronizing them results in repeated file conflict errors.

For example, iFolder automatically excludes two hidden file manager files called thumbs.db and .DS_Store.

Database Files

iFolder synchronizes the changed portions of a file; it does not synchronize files as a set. If you have a database file that is implemented as a collection of linked files, do not try to synchronize them in an iFolder.

File Sizes

The maximum file size you allow for synchronization depends on your production environment. While some users work with hundreds of small files, other users work with very large files. You might set a system-wide policy to restrict sizes for most users, then set individual policies for power users.