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Bug, feature or just the correct behaviour (stat'ing -bash down the PATH

From: Wheatley, Martin R
Subject: Bug, feature or just the correct behaviour (stat'ing -bash down the PATH)
Date: Tue, 2 Jun 2015 14:08:35 +0100 (BST)

$ echo $PATH

a truss of "bash -ls" shows it stat'ing '-bash' in each of the directories
in PATH...

11933:  stat64("/usr/bin/-bash", 0xFFBFEBE8)            Err#2 ENOENT
11933:  stat64("/usr/sbin/-bash", 0xFFBFEBE8)           Err#2 ENOENT
11933:  stat64("/usr/dt/bin/-bash", 0xFFBFEBE8)         Err#2 ENOENT
11933:  stat64("/home/USER/bin/-bash", 0xFFBFEBE8)      Err#2 ENOENT

Why does bash do all these 'stat()' system calls? We tried providing an
executable '-bash' at one of the locations but it didn't appear to have
any effect.

If one of the directories in the PATH is on an NFS server that is
'down' then bash hangs - which disables a shell which would otherwise
be usable.

 | Martin Wheatley                 | Voice  : +44-(0)1235-464784         | 
 | CODAS & IT Department           | FAX    : +44-(0)1235-464404         | 
 | Culham Centre for Fusion Energy | E-mail : address@hidden | 
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