Funny issue with Nextcloud with macos x client

I’ve been using Nextcloud for several months… I’m using it with Windows 10 clients, iOS, android, Linux and Mac OS. My server is a raspberry pi 4 with an external USB HD. It works great for the most part.

But I was having issues with the Mac OS client. It didn’t ever seem to finish synchronizing, it attempted to upload files to the server that were successfully downloaded but were not changed on the machine it is running. It did get to say it was “Up to date”, just to start again.

The client is version 2.6.4stable (build 20200303). The server has been auto updating itself, now it is 18.0.4. The Mac is running Catalina 10.15.4. I didn’t notice the issue when it was running Mojave, but it may be that it was already happening. It is a mac notebook and the nextcloud client was the application consuming the most battery. It drained the battery of the notebook in a couple hours.

When I looked into the “Recent Changes” list there were files that I didn’t touch. But it lists the files as “Uploaded” and the time it was done. Usually within the last 5min. With the mac turned on, the HD in the server would never spin down.

When I went to Settings (on the Mac client) and select the activity tab I saw a very large amount of messages there. When scrolling down the list the client would freeze for long periods of time and many times I had to kill it.

Most of the messages were:
Synced <directory>

Large quantities of such messages referring to the same paths over and over.

Another common message was:
Server replied “400 Bad Request” to " PUT https://<server & file path>" (File name contains at least one invalid character) (skipped due to earlier error, trying <another filepath with no special characters>)

It seems the character causing the issue was a “\” as it was listed as %5C in the error message. It is probably a valid character for a Macos path but not on the linux server(?).

I could not see if there were other messages. The client GUI would freeze if I tried to scroll down. Feels like a bug or bad implementation of the list viewer, but I can’t tell.

But after I renamed all the files that were causing that error message the problem was completely gone. It seems the failure to sync the file due to bad character in the name was causing the client to misbehave.

The “\” character came from a very old backup of classic Macintosh System data. 20+ years old.

I’m posting the issue here in case somebody faces the same situation.

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Thanks for the investigation. Such things take a long time. Please consider also posting a bug report on github, so the developers can fix this: