The "file" URI Scheme
RFC 8089

Document Type RFC - Proposed Standard (February 2017; No errata)
Updates RFC 1738
Last updated 2017-02-17
Replaces draft-kerwin-file-scheme
Stream IETF
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Stream WG state Submitted to IESG for Publication May 2016
Document shepherd Dave Crocker
Shepherd write-up Show (last changed 2016-11-12)
IESG IESG state RFC 8089 (Proposed Standard)
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Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                         M. Kerwin
Request for Comments: 8089                                           QUT
Updates: 1738                                              February 2017
Category: Standards Track
ISSN: 2070-1721

                         The "file" URI Scheme

Abstract

   This document provides a more complete specification of the "file"
   Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) scheme and replaces the very brief
   definition in Section 3.10 of RFC 1738.

   It defines a common syntax that is intended to interoperate across
   the broad spectrum of existing usages.  At the same time, it notes
   some other current practices around the use of file URIs.

Status of This Memo

   This is an Internet Standards Track document.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Further information on
   Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of RFC 7841.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc8089.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2017 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
   to this document.  Code Components extracted from this document must
   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Kerwin                       Standards Track                    [Page 1]
RFC 8089                      "file" Scheme                February 2017

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
     1.1.  Notational Conventions  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   2.  Syntax  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   3.  Operations Involving <file> URIs  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   4.  File System Name Encoding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   5.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   6.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   7.  References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     7.1.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
     7.2.  Informative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   8
   Appendix A.  Differences from Previous Specifications . . . . . .  10
   Appendix B.  Example URIs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   Appendix C.  Similar Technologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   Appendix D.  System-Specific Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
     D.1.  POSIX Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
     D.2.  DOS- and Windows-Like Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  11
     D.3.  Mac OS X Systems  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
     D.4.  OpenVMS Files-11 Systems  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
   Appendix E.  Nonstandard Syntax Variations  . . . . . . . . . . .  12
     E.1.  User Information  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12
     E.2.  DOS and Windows Drive Letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
       E.2.1.  Relative Resolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  13
       E.2.2.  Vertical Line Character . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14
     E.3.  UNC Strings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
       E.3.1.  <file> URI with Authority . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  15
       E.3.2.  <file> URI with UNC Path  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  16
     E.4.  Backslash as Separator  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
   Appendix F.  Collected Nonstandard Rules  . . . . . . . . . . . .  17
   Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19

1.  Introduction

   A file URI identifies an object (a "file") stored in a structured
   object naming and accessing environment on a host (a "file system").
   The URI can be used in discussions about the file, and if other
   conditions are met it can be dereferenced to directly access the
   file.

   This document specifies a syntax based on the generic syntax of
   [RFC3986] that is compatible with most existing usages.  Where
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