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I've several problems maintaining large production servers, in which some developers drop files from Windows environments, sometime with BOM-bytes (We use UTF8, and no need for that), causing lots of troubles.

Other times, I got a "no end of line" and "[DOS]" labels when vim-editing files directly on the server.

I recently discovered how to find for the bom byte, and how to delete it in a batch script. What about illegal bytes, bad EOLs? Is it safe to use DOS Text Files on a linux environment? Any drawbacks If I use to convert them with dos2unix cmd ?


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Yeh, BOM-bytes are bad. The locale should determine the encoding of a file.

The other thing as you've rightly pointed out is line endings. Dos tends to be CRLF and Linux is LF only.

dos2unix will take care of this problem for you.

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"The locale should determine the encoding of a file" doesn't make sense at all considering that files can be transferred over the Internet. (Not that anyone should be using something other than Unicode, of course.) – grawity Sep 10 '10 at 14:22

"Bad EOL" (no end of line message) isn't bad. It just notifies you that there is no EOL after the last line. The Unix convention is to use EOL as a line terminator, and most Windows tools consider it a separator.

Other than the message (and slight annoyance when cating such a file), there is nothing bad in it.

DOS/Windows line endings (CR/LF) can cause some problems, especially in scripts: when Linux is reading the #! line, it will use everything up to the first LF, and will consider the CR part of interpreter filename.

For executable scripts it is best to use Unix line endings (:set ff=unix), otherwise Linux would attempt to execute /usr/bin/perl<CR> when you had #!/usr/bin/perl along with Windows line endings.

For other files, it doesn't matter much.

The UTF-8 signature (EF BB BF) can cause even more problems - disable with :set nobomb, mass-remove with sed -i 's/^\xef\xbb\xbf//'.

EOL: End-of-line character or characters; either LF or CR/LF, whichever is apropriate.

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