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bug#9307: sort crashes on big files (coreutils-8.7)

From: Jim Meyering
Subject: bug#9307: sort crashes on big files (coreutils-8.7)
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 2011 22:10:20 +0200

Michael Stahn wrote:
> Calling sort -u -S 1G file.txt > output.txt from coreutils-8.7 crashes
> sort. Increasing memory size doesn't help. The size of file.txt is
> approximately 1G. The program was called with other text-files with similar
> size and it crashes only in some cases (same file every time). I cant upload 
> it
> here because of the size, but it's just a plain textfile.
> This bug only seems to happen if sort is called with "-u" option.
> Steps to Reproduce:
> 1. call sort -u -S 1G file.txt > output.txt with a min 1G plaintext-file
> Actual Results:
> Sort crashes with "Killed" or "Segmenation fault", depending on the file. Also
> some sortXXXX-files in /tmp ARE NOT deleted if sort crashes! Your disk will
> become clobbered with trash in a very short time when sorting big files.

Thanks for the report.
That sounds like a bug that was fixed in coreutils-8.8:

    * Noteworthy changes in release 8.8 (2010-12-22) [stable]

    ** Bug fixes

      sort with at least two threads no longer segfaults due to use of pointers
      into the stack of an expired thread. [bug introduced in coreutils-8.6]

The latest is coreutils-8.12.
If you can make the latest fail, please let us know.
In the mean time, I'm closing this issue.

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