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Re: rm 8.1

From: Eric Blake
Subject: Re: rm 8.1
Date: Mon, 30 Nov 2009 18:30:02 -0700
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According to Ladislav Hagara on 11/30/2009 4:46 PM:
> New 8.1 rm prints another message "invalid argument" and DOESN'T remove
> files:
> # rm --version | head -n 1
> rm (GNU coreutils) 8.1
> # touch a b c; rm a b "" c; ls
> rm: invalid argument: `'
> a  b  c
> Is this a bug or a new feature of rm 8.1?

Thanks for the report.  This is indeed a regression and a violation of
POSIX, and was probably caused by our move from a hand-rolled recursion
over to using an enhanced fts interface (hence I'm guessing it popped up
in coreutils 8.0).  It will be fixed before the next release.

> Should all scripts be rewritten (test if file really exist and then
> remove it) or new rm 8.2 will again remove files?

It depends on how worried you are about the likelihood of distros
distributing unpatched coreutils 8.0 and 8.1 builds, and how worried you
are about encountering it in the wild.  In general, passing an empty file
name to rm is never going to succeed, so there's already room for
improvement in your scripts; so this could be the justification to make
those changes.

- --
Don't work too hard, make some time for fun as well!

Eric Blake             address@hidden
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