Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (2459 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] /bin/rm: Argument list too long
  • From: Sam Clemens <clemens.sam1@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2008 01:12:22 -0400
  • Message-id: <47EC7E36.2040009@xxxxxxxxx>
Brian K. White wrote:
It's also possible for there to be discrepencies between the app
being run by xargs, and the rest of the system. Maybe the shell and
the kernel will tolerate up to 4k (I think it's more like 100 or 400
but no matter) so xargs generates 4k command lines, but maybe appfoo
can only handle 1k ?
That's not how it works.

Sure it is.

Xargs deals only in the maximum argument list limits (number of args and / or total argument bytes). While I can't say that no command imposes its own limits on the size of arguments lists,

You sure can't.

there's really no reason to do so and I know of no programs that have internal limits to the size of the argument list they will successfully process.

Within the very small world of a modern linux distribution where such things as
*conf() exist and sticking to programs supplied by the vendor, maybe you are
indeed hard pressed to find an app that doesn't break that assumption.

I'll side with Randall on this one.

Suffice it to say I have seen a larger world.

Not for core commands on any Unix or Linux distribution
I've ever seen... and I've used and/or adminned more Unix
distributions than I can count on both hands.

You have some body of experience, and an assumption that you haven't seen
broken. That is fine and a perfectly reasonable and correct basis for
continuing to operate from that assumption by default. Doing so is called being
efficient and in tune with your environment. But do not mistake that for gospel.

It's a damned fine assumption.

Any unix with core commands that violate his
assumption is fundamentally broken.

Consider the implications of this for a while:
Why does ./configure run an empirical test, trying progressively larger and
larger command lines until it breaks?

which "configure" is that?

$ which configure

Hmmm... it seems that "configure" is *NOT* a standard command.

What do you think about that?

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