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bug#6245: cp - copy files and directories, ls -Rld, chmod

From: Pádraig Brady
Subject: bug#6245: cp - copy files and directories, ls -Rld, chmod
Date: Sun, 23 May 2010 00:47:00 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100227 Thunderbird/3.0.3

On 22/05/10 20:34, Bob Proulx wrote:
> address@hidden wrote:
>> course), because It does not preserve ownership (except if you are
>> root) . The problem is that it doesn't tell you anything when it
>> doesn't do it or that It shouldn't be supposed to preserve
>> ownership.
> This is related to this FAQ entry.  It explains why only root can
> chown files.
> http://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/faq/#Why-can-only-root-chown-files_003f
> The 'cp -a' option says:
>   `-a'
>   `--archive'
>       Preserve as much as possible of the structure and attributes of the
>       original files in the copy ...
> It is not possible to preserve the ownership of a file unless you are
> root.  Therefore cp is preserving "as much as possible".

I noticed myself that `cp --preserve=owner` does not give an
error when running as non root. A pertinent comment from the source:

  /* If non-root uses -p, it's ok if we can't preserve ownership.
     But root probably wants to know, e.g. if NFS disallows it,
     or if the target system doesn't support file ownership.  */

Perhaps if "owner" is explicitly specified they we should warn?
I'm not sure it's worth diverging the warning characteristics
for this though.


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