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Re: rm anomaly on symlinks with fileutils 4.1.9

From: Jonas Pasche
Subject: Re: rm anomaly on symlinks with fileutils 4.1.9
Date: 09 Jan 2003 03:40:13 +0100

Hi Alfred,

>    I saw that 4.1.9 is from alpha.gnu.org; is Red Hat just too
>    bleeding edge again here..?
> Could you try the latest version of GNU coreutils [1] (it is a merge
> of textutils, sh-utils and fileutils) and see if the behaviour you are
> seeing exists there?

I compiled coreutils 4.5.4 on both Red Hat 7.2 and 8.0, just to be sure.
I used no configure switches besides --prefix. The coreutils behave
identical on both platforms.

This is what happens (remember, "testdir2" is a symbolic link to
"testdir1", which contains a file, "testfile"):

# rm -i testdir2/
rm: remove directory `testdir2/'? y
rm: cannot remove directory `testdir2/': Is a directory

It doesn't ask to delete the file "testfile" (fileutils 4.1.9 ask), and
it actually doesn't delete anything.

Second case:

# rm -rf testdir2/
rm: cannot remove `testdir2/': Not a directory

Nothing gets deleted, even not the testdir2 symlink.


The following things can be identified as errors; they're at least
irritating and/or not consistent with the fileutils 4.1 (latest stable):

* "rm -i testdir2/" doesn't identify testdir2 as a symlink, but as a
directory (which it actually isn't)

* "rm -i testdir2/" results in "cannot remove directory" both under
fileutils 4.1.9 and coreutils 4.5.4. Amazingly, under fileutils 4.1.9 it
says: "Not a directory", while under coreutils 4.5.4 it says: "Is a
directory" when used with "-i", and "Not a directory" when used with
"-rf". At least this is definitely inconsistent within the latest

* The message "rm: cannot remove directory `testdir2/': Is a directory"
is a contradiction in terms.

* The commands "rm -i testdir2/" and "rm -rf testdir2/" end up in
different results when compared to fileutils 4.1.


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