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bug#50097: gzip: add "--keep" option to keep original files unchanged

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: bug#50097: gzip: add "--keep" option to keep original files unchanged
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2021 07:42:54 -0700
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:78.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/78.11.0

On 8/20/21 5:20 AM, Krzysztof Żelechowski wrote:
gzip -k b && gzip -cd b.gz >b

which would trash the hard-linked file as well.
That would replace the content of the file b with the content of the file b.
How bad can that be? ;-)

It could be a problem as-is if some other file reads 'a' in the middle of the process. And the problem would be more serious in other examples, such as:

echo hello >a
ln a b
gzip -k b && gzip -cd b.gz >>b

This would trash 'a' if gzip -k succeeded. (Same with 'ln -s'.)

> Of course one can use -f to go ahead and compress anyway.

That would silently replace an existing target, which is bad.

Sure. The only question here is what things "gzip -k" should be able to do, without the things being considered "bad".

Perhaps if you gave us the surrounding context; that might help explain why it would be useful to change the behavior of gzip -k on links. Bug report 50097 seems to start up in the middle of a conversation that I'm not privy to.

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