GNU bug report logs - #17840
[PATCH] libtool: Use 'file' instead of '/usr/bin/file' on GNU systems.

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Package: libtool; Reported by: ludo@HIDDEN (Ludovic Courtès); Keywords: patch; dated Mon, 23 Jun 2014 19:44:02 UTC; Maintainer for libtool is bug-libtool@HIDDEN.

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From: Peter Rosin <peda@HIDDEN>
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To: Ralf Corsepius <rc040203@HIDDEN>, 17840 <at> debbugs.gnu.org
Subject: Re: bug#17840: [PATCH] libtool: Use 'file' instead of '/usr/bin/file'
 on GNU systems.
References: <877g478l9y.fsf@HIDDEN>	<alpine.GSO.2.01.1406240832440.18732@HIDDEN>	<87ionq1iho.fsf@HIDDEN>
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On 2014-06-24 18:08, Ralf Corsepius wrote:
> On 06/24/2014 04:37 PM, Ludovic Courtès wrote:
>> Bob Friesenhahn <bfriesen@HIDDEN> skribis:
>>
>>> On Mon, 23 Jun 2014, Ludovic Courtès wrote:
>>>
>>>> Hello,
>>>>
>>>> The patch below changes occurrences of ‘/usr/bin/file’ to just ‘file’.
>>>>
>>>> The impetus is that on systems using GNU Guix, NixOS, GoboLinux, and
>>>> others, the ‘file’ command is not available as /usr/bin/file, so it must
>>>> instead be taken from $PATH.
>>>>
>>>> (I conservatively left ‘/usr/bin/file’ for more centralized systems such
>>>> as BSD, IRIX, etc. where it’s more likely to be a valid command.)
>>>
>>> Were you able to re-test on all of the impacted platforms?
>>
>> No, but that list is verrry long.
> 
> Makes me wonder, why this issue has not come up before and what your issue actually is.

I suspect this has something to do with merging /usr/bin and /bin coupled
with some purist attempt to get rid of the compatibility symlink from one
to the other.

But that's just a guess.

Cheers,
Peter





Information forwarded to bug-libtool@HIDDEN:
bug#17840; Package libtool. Full text available.

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From: ludo@HIDDEN (Ludovic =?utf-8?Q?Court=C3=A8s?=)
To: Bob Friesenhahn <bfriesen@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#17840: [PATCH] libtool: Use 'file' instead of '/usr/bin/file'
 on GNU systems.
References: <877g478l9y.fsf@HIDDEN>
 <alpine.GSO.2.01.1406240832440.18732@HIDDEN>
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Bob Friesenhahn <bfriesen@HIDDEN> skribis:

> On Tue, 24 Jun 2014, Ludovic Court=C3=A8s wrote:
>>
>>> The reason for the hard-coded path is because there are a number of
>>> different 'file' programs and libtool expects particular output from
>>> the 'file' program that it uses.  If the 'file' encountered via PATH
>>> is not the same as the common one available as =E2=80=98/usr/bin/file=
=E2=80=99 on GNU
>>> systems, then there would be a problem.
>>
>> Well, the systems I was referring to are GNU systems too.  ;-)
>>
>> Do you remember what other =E2=80=98file=E2=80=99 programs could interfe=
re?  Debian has
>> only one =E2=80=98file=E2=80=99 program, for instance:
>> <https://packages.debian.org/search?searchon=3Dcontents&keywords=3Dfile&=
mode=3Dexactfilename&suite=3Dstable&arch=3Dany>.
>
> This is the web page for the most popular and common 'file'
> command. It is not a GNU program:
>
> 	http://darwinsys.com/file/

Right.  I was asking about hypothetical unrelated =E2=80=98file=E2=80=99 co=
mmands that
would justify hard-coding /usr/bin/file.

Do we know of any?

Otherwise it=E2=80=99s no different from cat, touch, grep, etc.

Ludo=E2=80=99.




Information forwarded to bug-libtool@HIDDEN:
bug#17840; Package libtool. Full text available.

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From: ludo@HIDDEN (Ludovic =?utf-8?Q?Court=C3=A8s?=)
To: Bob Friesenhahn <bfriesen@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#17840: [PATCH] libtool: Use 'file' instead of '/usr/bin/file'
 on GNU systems.
References: <877g478l9y.fsf@HIDDEN>
 <alpine.GSO.2.01.1406240832440.18732@HIDDEN>
 <87ionq1iho.fsf@HIDDEN>
 <alpine.GSO.2.01.1406241108470.21829@HIDDEN>
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Bob Friesenhahn <bfriesen@HIDDEN> skribis:

> On Tue, 24 Jun 2014, Ludovic Court=C3=A8s wrote:
>>
>>> The reason for the hard-coded path is because there are a number of
>>> different 'file' programs and libtool expects particular output from
>>> the 'file' program that it uses.  If the 'file' encountered via PATH
>>> is not the same as the common one available as =E2=80=98/usr/bin/file=
=E2=80=99 on GNU
>>> systems, then there would be a problem.
>>
>> Well, the systems I was referring to are GNU systems too.  ;-)
>>
>> Do you remember what other =E2=80=98file=E2=80=99 programs could interfe=
re?  Debian has
>> only one =E2=80=98file=E2=80=99 program, for instance:
>> <https://packages.debian.org/search?searchon=3Dcontents&keywords=3Dfile&=
mode=3Dexactfilename&suite=3Dstable&arch=3Dany>.
>
> This is the web page for the most popular and common 'file'
> command. It is not a GNU program:
>
> 	http://darwinsys.com/file/

Right.  I was asking about hypothetical unrelated =E2=80=98file=E2=80=99 co=
mmands that
would justify hard-coding /usr/bin/file.

Do we know of any?

Otherwise it=E2=80=99s no different from cat, touch, grep, etc.

Ludo=E2=80=99.




Information forwarded to bug-libtool@HIDDEN:
bug#17840; Package libtool. Full text available.

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On 06/24/2014 04:37 PM, Ludovic Courtès wrote:
> Bob Friesenhahn <bfriesen@HIDDEN> skribis:
>
>> On Mon, 23 Jun 2014, Ludovic Courtès wrote:
>>
>>> Hello,
>>>
>>> The patch below changes occurrences of ‘/usr/bin/file’ to just ‘file’.
>>>
>>> The impetus is that on systems using GNU Guix, NixOS, GoboLinux, and
>>> others, the ‘file’ command is not available as /usr/bin/file, so it must
>>> instead be taken from $PATH.
>>>
>>> (I conservatively left ‘/usr/bin/file’ for more centralized systems such
>>> as BSD, IRIX, etc. where it’s more likely to be a valid command.)
>>
>> Were you able to re-test on all of the impacted platforms?
>
> No, but that list is verrry long.

Makes me wonder, why this issue has not come up before and what your 
issue actually is.

>> The reason for the hard-coded path is because there are a number of
>> different 'file' programs and libtool expects particular output from
>> the 'file' program that it uses.  If the 'file' encountered via PATH
>> is not the same as the common one available as ‘/usr/bin/file’ on GNU
>> systems, then there would be a problem.
>
> Well, the systems I was referring to are GNU systems too.  ;-)
>
> Do you remember what other ‘file’ programs could interfere?

Any arbitrary "file" a user may have on $PATH.

Actually, in Fedora's packaging, we generally prefer absolute paths over 
plain "file names", to avoid malfunctions from arbitrary stuff people 
may have laying around on $PATH.

> Besides, relying on file names to identify programs seems fragile:
Correct. Trying to utilize "file"'s output to distinguish file types has 
a long history of breaking things and not being robust.

Ralf





Information forwarded to bug-libtool@HIDDEN:
bug#17840; Package libtool. Full text available.

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On Tue, 24 Jun 2014, Ludovic Court=C3=A8s wrote:
>
>> The reason for the hard-coded path is because there are a number of
>> different 'file' programs and libtool expects particular output from
>> the 'file' program that it uses.  If the 'file' encountered via PATH
>> is not the same as the common one available as =E2=80=98/usr/bin/file=E2=
=80=99 on GNU
>> systems, then there would be a problem.
>
> Well, the systems I was referring to are GNU systems too.  ;-)
>
> Do you remember what other =E2=80=98file=E2=80=99 programs could interf=
ere?  Debian has
> only one =E2=80=98file=E2=80=99 program, for instance:
> <https://packages.debian.org/search?searchon=3Dcontents&keywords=3Dfile=
&mode=3Dexactfilename&suite=3Dstable&arch=3Dany>.

This is the web page for the most popular and common 'file' command.=20
It is not a GNU program:

 	http://darwinsys.com/file/

> Besides, relying on file names to identify programs seems fragile: just
> like I can have an unrelated =E2=80=98file=E2=80=99 command in $PATH, I=
 can install an
> unrelated =E2=80=98file=E2=80=99 command in /usr/bin.

Yes, it is fragile but it is more likely to encounter a wrong program=20
named 'file' in the path than to encounter a wrong /usr/bin/file=20
program.

> If there=E2=80=99s a concrete risk of confusion with a same-named progr=
am,
> perhaps the most robust thing to do would be to try, say, =E2=80=98file
> --version=E2=80=99 and search for some distinguishing pattern in the ou=
tput.

What would we do if 'file' did not respond appropriately to a=20
--version argument?

A simple approach would be to use /usr/bin/file if is available, or=20
otherwise use the first 'file' found in the executable search path.=20
This avoids the need for re-testing on exotic systems and does not=20
substantially increase the level of risk.

Bob
--=20
Bob Friesenhahn
bfriesen@HIDDEN, http://www.simplesystems.org/users/bfriesen=
/
GraphicsMagick Maintainer,    http://www.GraphicsMagick.org/
---559023410-1297389768-1403627306=:21829--




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On Tue, 24 Jun 2014, Ludovic Courtès wrote:
>
>> The reason for the hard-coded path is because there are a number of
>> different 'file' programs and libtool expects particular output from
>> the 'file' program that it uses.  If the 'file' encountered via PATH
>> is not the same as the common one available as ‘/usr/bin/file’ on GNU
>> systems, then there would be a problem.
>
> Well, the systems I was referring to are GNU systems too.  ;-)
>
> Do you remember what other ‘file’ programs could interfere?  Debian has
> only one ‘file’ program, for instance:
> <https://packages.debian.org/search?searchon=contents&keywords=file&mode=exactfilename&suite=stable&arch=any>.

This is the web page for the most popular and common 'file' command. 
It is not a GNU program:

 	http://darwinsys.com/file/

> Besides, relying on file names to identify programs seems fragile: just
> like I can have an unrelated ‘file’ command in $PATH, I can install an
> unrelated ‘file’ command in /usr/bin.

Yes, it is fragile but it is more likely to encounter a wrong program 
named 'file' in the path than to encounter a wrong /usr/bin/file 
program.

> If there’s a concrete risk of confusion with a same-named program,
> perhaps the most robust thing to do would be to try, say, ‘file
> --version’ and search for some distinguishing pattern in the output.

What would we do if 'file' did not respond appropriately to a 
--version argument?

A simple approach would be to use /usr/bin/file if is available, or 
otherwise use the first 'file' found in the executable search path. 
This avoids the need for re-testing on exotic systems and does not 
substantially increase the level of risk.

Bob
-- 
Bob Friesenhahn
bfriesen@HIDDEN, http://www.simplesystems.org/users/bfriesen/
GraphicsMagick Maintainer,    http://www.GraphicsMagick.org/
---559023410-1297389768-1403627306=:21829--




Information forwarded to bug-libtool@HIDDEN:
bug#17840; Package libtool. Full text available.

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


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From: ludo@HIDDEN (Ludovic =?utf-8?Q?Court=C3=A8s?=)
To: Bob Friesenhahn <bfriesen@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#17840: [PATCH] libtool: Use 'file' instead of '/usr/bin/file'
 on GNU systems.
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Bob Friesenhahn <bfriesen@HIDDEN> skribis:

> On Mon, 23 Jun 2014, Ludovic Court=C3=A8s wrote:
>
>> Hello,
>>
>> The patch below changes occurrences of =E2=80=98/usr/bin/file=E2=80=99 t=
o just =E2=80=98file=E2=80=99.
>>
>> The impetus is that on systems using GNU Guix, NixOS, GoboLinux, and
>> others, the =E2=80=98file=E2=80=99 command is not available as /usr/bin/=
file, so it must
>> instead be taken from $PATH.
>>
>> (I conservatively left =E2=80=98/usr/bin/file=E2=80=99 for more centrali=
zed systems such
>> as BSD, IRIX, etc. where it=E2=80=99s more likely to be a valid command.)
>
> Were you able to re-test on all of the impacted platforms?

No, but that list is verrry long.

> The reason for the hard-coded path is because there are a number of
> different 'file' programs and libtool expects particular output from
> the 'file' program that it uses.  If the 'file' encountered via PATH
> is not the same as the common one available as =E2=80=98/usr/bin/file=E2=
=80=99 on GNU
> systems, then there would be a problem.

Well, the systems I was referring to are GNU systems too.  ;-)

Do you remember what other =E2=80=98file=E2=80=99 programs could interfere?=
  Debian has
only one =E2=80=98file=E2=80=99 program, for instance:
<https://packages.debian.org/search?searchon=3Dcontents&keywords=3Dfile&mod=
e=3Dexactfilename&suite=3Dstable&arch=3Dany>.

Besides, relying on file names to identify programs seems fragile: just
like I can have an unrelated =E2=80=98file=E2=80=99 command in $PATH, I can=
 install an
unrelated =E2=80=98file=E2=80=99 command in /usr/bin.

If there=E2=80=99s a concrete risk of confusion with a same-named program,
perhaps the most robust thing to do would be to try, say, =E2=80=98file
--version=E2=80=99 and search for some distinguishing pattern in the output.

WDYT?

Thanks,
Ludo=E2=80=99.




Information forwarded to bug-libtool@HIDDEN:
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From: ludo@HIDDEN (Ludovic =?utf-8?Q?Court=C3=A8s?=)
To: Bob Friesenhahn <bfriesen@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#17840: [PATCH] libtool: Use 'file' instead of '/usr/bin/file'
 on GNU systems.
References: <877g478l9y.fsf@HIDDEN>
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Bob Friesenhahn <bfriesen@HIDDEN> skribis:

> On Mon, 23 Jun 2014, Ludovic Court=C3=A8s wrote:
>
>> Hello,
>>
>> The patch below changes occurrences of =E2=80=98/usr/bin/file=E2=80=99 t=
o just =E2=80=98file=E2=80=99.
>>
>> The impetus is that on systems using GNU Guix, NixOS, GoboLinux, and
>> others, the =E2=80=98file=E2=80=99 command is not available as /usr/bin/=
file, so it must
>> instead be taken from $PATH.
>>
>> (I conservatively left =E2=80=98/usr/bin/file=E2=80=99 for more centrali=
zed systems such
>> as BSD, IRIX, etc. where it=E2=80=99s more likely to be a valid command.)
>
> Were you able to re-test on all of the impacted platforms?

No, but that list is verrry long.

> The reason for the hard-coded path is because there are a number of
> different 'file' programs and libtool expects particular output from
> the 'file' program that it uses.  If the 'file' encountered via PATH
> is not the same as the common one available as =E2=80=98/usr/bin/file=E2=
=80=99 on GNU
> systems, then there would be a problem.

Well, the systems I was referring to are GNU systems too.  ;-)

Do you remember what other =E2=80=98file=E2=80=99 programs could interfere?=
  Debian has
only one =E2=80=98file=E2=80=99 program, for instance:
<https://packages.debian.org/search?searchon=3Dcontents&keywords=3Dfile&mod=
e=3Dexactfilename&suite=3Dstable&arch=3Dany>.

Besides, relying on file names to identify programs seems fragile: just
like I can have an unrelated =E2=80=98file=E2=80=99 command in $PATH, I can=
 install an
unrelated =E2=80=98file=E2=80=99 command in /usr/bin.

If there=E2=80=99s a concrete risk of confusion with a same-named program,
perhaps the most robust thing to do would be to try, say, =E2=80=98file
--version=E2=80=99 and search for some distinguishing pattern in the output.

WDYT?

Thanks,
Ludo=E2=80=99.




Information forwarded to bug-libtool@HIDDEN:
bug#17840; Package libtool. Full text available.

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


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On Mon, 23 Jun 2014, Ludovic Court=C3=A8s wrote:

> Hello,
>
> The patch below changes occurrences of =E2=80=98/usr/bin/file=E2=80=99 =
to just =E2=80=98file=E2=80=99.
>
> The impetus is that on systems using GNU Guix, NixOS, GoboLinux, and
> others, the =E2=80=98file=E2=80=99 command is not available as /usr/bin=
/file, so it must
> instead be taken from $PATH.
>
> (I conservatively left =E2=80=98/usr/bin/file=E2=80=99 for more central=
ized systems such
> as BSD, IRIX, etc. where it=E2=80=99s more likely to be a valid command=
.)

Were you able to re-test on all of the impacted platforms?

The reason for the hard-coded path is because there are a number of=20
different 'file' programs and libtool expects particular output from=20
the 'file' program that it uses.  If the 'file' encountered via PATH=20
is not the same as the common one available as =E2=80=98/usr/bin/file=E2=80=
=99 on GNU=20
systems, then there would be a problem.

Bob
--=20
Bob Friesenhahn
bfriesen@HIDDEN, http://www.simplesystems.org/users/bfriesen=
/
GraphicsMagick Maintainer,    http://www.GraphicsMagick.org/
---559023410-952449051-1403616930=:18732--




Information forwarded to bug-libtool@HIDDEN:
bug#17840; Package libtool. Full text available.

Message received at 17840 <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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On Mon, 23 Jun 2014, Ludovic Courtès wrote:

> Hello,
>
> The patch below changes occurrences of ‘/usr/bin/file’ to just ‘file’.
>
> The impetus is that on systems using GNU Guix, NixOS, GoboLinux, and
> others, the ‘file’ command is not available as /usr/bin/file, so it must
> instead be taken from $PATH.
>
> (I conservatively left ‘/usr/bin/file’ for more centralized systems such
> as BSD, IRIX, etc. where it’s more likely to be a valid command.)

Were you able to re-test on all of the impacted platforms?

The reason for the hard-coded path is because there are a number of 
different 'file' programs and libtool expects particular output from 
the 'file' program that it uses.  If the 'file' encountered via PATH 
is not the same as the common one available as ‘/usr/bin/file’ on GNU 
systems, then there would be a problem.

Bob
-- 
Bob Friesenhahn
bfriesen@HIDDEN, http://www.simplesystems.org/users/bfriesen/
GraphicsMagick Maintainer,    http://www.GraphicsMagick.org/
---559023410-952449051-1403616930=:18732--




Information forwarded to bug-libtool@HIDDEN:
bug#17840; Package libtool. Full text available.

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


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From: ludo@HIDDEN (Ludovic =?utf-8?Q?Court=C3=A8s?=)
To: bug-libtool@HIDDEN
Subject: [PATCH] libtool: Use 'file' instead of '/usr/bin/file' on GNU systems.
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--=-=-=
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Hello,

The patch below changes occurrences of =E2=80=98/usr/bin/file=E2=80=99 to j=
ust =E2=80=98file=E2=80=99.

The impetus is that on systems using GNU Guix, NixOS, GoboLinux, and
others, the =E2=80=98file=E2=80=99 command is not available as /usr/bin/fil=
e, so it must
instead be taken from $PATH.

(I conservatively left =E2=80=98/usr/bin/file=E2=80=99 for more centralized=
 systems such
as BSD, IRIX, etc. where it=E2=80=99s more likely to be a valid command.)

WDYT?

Ludo=E2=80=99.


--=-=-=
Content-Type: text/x-patch
Content-Disposition: inline;
 filename=0001-libtool-Use-file-instead-of-usr-bin-file-on-GNU-syst.patch
Content-Description: the patch

From 8b4c022281a7c86c2fa604fc76297ffc1ceb2644 Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
From: =?UTF-8?q?Ludovic=20Court=C3=A8s?= <ludo@HIDDEN>
Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2014 21:36:39 +0200
Subject: [PATCH] libtool: Use 'file' instead of '/usr/bin/file' on GNU
 systems.

* m4/libtool.m4 (_LT_ENABLE_LOCK): Use 'file' instead of '/usr/bin/file'
  on GNU- and Linux-based systems.
---
 m4/libtool.m4 | 10 +++++-----
 1 file changed, 5 insertions(+), 5 deletions(-)

diff --git a/m4/libtool.m4 b/m4/libtool.m4
index 320d8b3..6fb67b0 100644
--- a/m4/libtool.m4
+++ b/m4/libtool.m4
@@ -1312,7 +1312,7 @@ mips64*-*linux*)
   echo '[#]line '$LINENO' "configure"' > conftest.$ac_ext
   if AC_TRY_EVAL(ac_compile); then
     emul=elf
-    case `/usr/bin/file conftest.$ac_objext` in
+    case `file conftest.$ac_objext` in
       *32-bit*)
 	emul="${emul}32"
 	;;
@@ -1320,7 +1320,7 @@ mips64*-*linux*)
 	emul="${emul}64"
 	;;
     esac
-    case `/usr/bin/file conftest.$ac_objext` in
+    case `file conftest.$ac_objext` in
       *MSB*)
 	emul="${emul}btsmip"
 	;;
@@ -1328,7 +1328,7 @@ mips64*-*linux*)
 	emul="${emul}ltsmip"
 	;;
     esac
-    case `/usr/bin/file conftest.$ac_objext` in
+    case `file conftest.$ac_objext` in
       *N32*)
 	emul="${emul}n32"
 	;;
@@ -1348,14 +1348,14 @@ s390*-*linux*|s390*-*tpf*|sparc*-*linux*)
   # not appear in the list.
   echo 'int i;' > conftest.$ac_ext
   if AC_TRY_EVAL(ac_compile); then
-    case `/usr/bin/file conftest.o` in
+    case `file conftest.o` in
       *32-bit*)
 	case $host in
 	  x86_64-*kfreebsd*-gnu)
 	    LD="${LD-ld} -m elf_i386_fbsd"
 	    ;;
 	  x86_64-*linux*)
-	    case `/usr/bin/file conftest.o` in
+	    case `file conftest.o` in
 	      *x86-64*)
 		LD="${LD-ld} -m elf32_x86_64"
 		;;
-- 
1.8.4


--=-=-=--




Acknowledgement sent to ludo@HIDDEN (Ludovic Courtès):
New bug report received and forwarded. Copy sent to bug-libtool@HIDDEN. Full text available.
Report forwarded to bug-libtool@HIDDEN:
bug#17840; Package libtool. Full text available.
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Copyright (C) 1999 Darren O. Benham, 1997 nCipher Corporation Ltd, 1994-97 Ian Jackson.