GNU bug report logs - #13601
mv should not silently lose file extended attributes

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Package: coreutils; Severity: wishlist; Reported by: jf@HIDDEN; dated Thu, 31 Jan 2013 19:15:02 UTC; Maintainer for coreutils is bug-coreutils@HIDDEN.
Severity set to 'wishlist' from 'normal' Request was from Assaf Gordon <assafgordon@HIDDEN> to control <at> debbugs.gnu.org. Full text available.

Message received at 13601 <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2013 07:59:24 +0100
To: =?iso-8859-1?Q?P=E1draig?= Brady <P@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#13601: mv should not silently lose file extended attributes
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	<510B0B90.805@HIDDEN>
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P=E1draig Brady writes:
 > On 01/31/2013 07:06 PM, jf@HIDDEN wrote:
 > >
 > > When moving a file having extended attributes to a target filesyst=
em which
 > > does not support them (e.g. an NFS mount), the attributes are sile=
ntly
 > > lost.
 > >
 > > I think that mv should not complete the move in this case, as the =
current
 > > behaviour leads to silent and unexpected data loss.
 > >
 > > Ideally, this behaviour should be controlled by an option, but I t=
hink that
 > > the default should be to refuse to lose data.
 > >
 > > mv version: mv (GNU coreutils) 8.13
 > > Checked on Ubuntu 12.04 (probably not relevant).
 >=20
 > The previous discussion on that was at:
 > http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-coreutils/2009-04/threads.html=
#00174
 > and the corresponding diagnostics supression patch at:
 > http://git.sv.gnu.org/gitweb/?p=3Dcoreutils.git;a=3Dcommit;h=3D941bd=
48
 >=20
 > I'm inclined to agree there should be some diagnostics.
 > Perhaps we could output diagnostics as normal, but only
 > try the operation once that gives ENOTSUP?
 >=20
 > thanks,
 > P=E1draig.

Hi,

I should have guessed that this was not the first time this came up, bu=
t I
could not find another bug report.

Here is what I think in a bit more detail: extended attributes could be=

very useful, but people won't use them as long as commands treat them a=
s
discardable data. They are as precious as main file data (think tagging=
 for
example, a lot of effort).

In my opinion the default for 'mv' should be to not complete the operat=
ion
if it would lose data from the source:=20

   - This is consistent with 'dangerous' uses of 'mv' which may sometim=
es
     clobber the target but *never* lose the source.

   - This is just plain common sense, as most people are not aware of
     subtle filesystem differences, and, for example, will mostly not k=
now
     that NFS does not support extended attributes. You should not have=
 to
     be a filesystem expert to use the command line safely.

Completing the move and printing an error message is just adding insult=

to injury: the data is gone and the message indicates that 'mv' should
have known not to do it but did it anyway ! 'cp' does not present the s=
ame
issue as as the original is still there.

If there is a strong reason not to implement this behaviour (I can only=

imagine some POSIXy compliance issue), there should at the very least e=
xist
a non-default option for 'mv' to behave in this way, like -i will preve=
nt
clobbering a target. One possibility would be to overload -i (not an
optimal approach). People could then alias the option into their common=

usage or not.

I would prefer the first approach, with -f to force the move for exampl=
e.

I should add for the record that I have been using a command line since=

1986 (Unix v7). This current behaviour in 'mv' hurts both my rationalit=
y
and a sense of style which had some time to form...

Regards,

Jean-Fran=E7ois Dock=E8s




Information forwarded to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN:
bug#13601; Package coreutils. Full text available.

Message received at 13601 <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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Subject: Re: bug#13601: mv should not silently lose file extended attributes
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On 01/31/2013 07:06 PM, jf@HIDDEN wrote:
>
> When moving a file having extended attributes to a target filesystem wh=
ich
> does not support them (e.g. an NFS mount), the attributes are silently
> lost.
>
> I think that mv should not complete the move in this case, as the curre=
nt
> behaviour leads to silent and unexpected data loss.
>
> Ideally, this behaviour should be controlled by an option, but I think =
that
> the default should be to refuse to lose data.
>
> mv version: mv (GNU coreutils) 8.13
> Checked on Ubuntu 12.04 (probably not relevant).

The previous discussion on that was at:
http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/bug-coreutils/2009-04/threads.html#0017=
4
and the corresponding diagnostics supression patch at:
http://git.sv.gnu.org/gitweb/?p=3Dcoreutils.git;a=3Dcommit;h=3D941bd48

I'm inclined to agree there should be some diagnostics.
Perhaps we could output diagnostics as normal, but only
try the operation once that gives ENOTSUP?

thanks,
P=E1draig.




Information forwarded to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN:
bug#13601; Package coreutils. Full text available.

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Subject: mv should not silently lose file extended attributes
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When moving a file having extended attributes to a target filesystem wh=
ich
does not support them (e.g. an NFS mount), the attributes are silently
lost.

I think that mv should not complete the move in this case, as the curre=
nt
behaviour leads to silent and unexpected data loss.

Ideally, this behaviour should be controlled by an option, but I think =
that
the default should be to refuse to lose data.

mv version: mv (GNU coreutils) 8.13
Checked on Ubuntu 12.04 (probably not relevant).

Regards,

J.F. Dock=E8s




Acknowledgement sent to jf@HIDDEN:
New bug report received and forwarded. Copy sent to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN. Full text available.
Report forwarded to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN:
bug#13601; Package coreutils. Full text available.
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