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bug#39399: tramp depends on unstable details of shell command line proce

From: Michael Albinus
Subject: bug#39399: tramp depends on unstable details of shell command line processing
Date: Mon, 03 Feb 2020 09:58:26 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/28.0.50 (gnu/linux)

John F Carr <address@hidden> writes:

Hi John,

> I use emacs tramp mode for remote editing.  It stopped working on my
> FreeBSD systems when I upgraded to a development version.  The cause
> appears to be due to /bin/sh reprinting the entire line when a
> backspace is sent rather than sending only a backspace-space-backspace
> sequence.  The failure follows a change in the line editing library
> (shared with NetBSD) rather than the shell itself.
> Environment is emacs 24.5 or 26.3 running on Mac OS Catalina.  The
> remote system is FreeBSD 13.0 development.  Tramp works with Linux or
> FreeBSD 12.1 as the remote system.

Thanks a lot for your report! Since I'm not running FreeBSD anywhere, I
count on your support fixing the problem :-)

> Here's what happens.
> I load tramp and open a file like /ssh:user@host:/.  Emacs spawns ssh to 
> connect.  The first thing tramp does is send
> stty -inlcr -onlcr -echo kill '^U' erase '^H'
> But this doesn't do much because the tty is in raw mode rather than
> cooked due to the shell's line editor.  So tramp falls back to a hack
> to detect echoed input.  It sends "_echo" followed by a string of
> backspace characters.  "_echo" is unlikely to appear in program
> output.
> Here is the next command after the initial stty:
> _echo^H^H^H^H^Hstty icanon erase ^H cols 32767_echo^H^H^H^H^H
> The groups of 5 ^H represent 5 backspace characters and the lone ^H in the 
> middle is a two character sequence for stty.
> The terminal output from a 12.1 system is
> _echo^H ^H^H ^H^H ^H^H ^H^H ^Hstty icanon erase ^H cols 32767_echo^H ^H^H 
> ^H^H ^H^H ^H^H ^H
> #$
> where again the middle ^H is a two character sequence and the others
> are backspace characters. There is a carriage return between the two
> lines.  "#$ " is the shell prompt set by tramp.

Well, and this works for years.

> The terminal output from a FreeBSD 13.0 development branch system is
> _echo
> #$ _ech ^H
> #$ _ec ^H
> #$ _e ^H
> #$ _ ^H
> #$  ^Hstty icanon erase ^H cols 32767_echo
> #$ stty icanon erase ^H cols 32767_ech ^H
> #$ stty icanon erase ^H cols 32767_ec ^H
> #$ stty icanon erase ^H cols 32767_e ^H
> #$ stty icanon erase ^H cols 32767_ ^H
> #$ stty icanon erase ^H cols 32767 ^H
> #$
> with carriage returns between lines.  This does not make sense to
> emacs, which hangs waiting for something it recognizes.  I can recover
> by hitting control-G which aborts the tramp connection.
> This issue is also reported to FreeBSD at 
> https://bugs.freebsd.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=243807.

IIUC the discussion in that bug, it is due to the changed libedit of
FreeBSD 13. Hmm, don't know this beast. But wouldn't it help, if Tramps
sends initially "stty cooked"?

Best regards, Michael.

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