GNU bug report logs - #36831
enhance 'directory not empty' message

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Package: coreutils; Reported by: Alex Mantel <alexmantel93@HIDDEN>; dated Sun, 28 Jul 2019 20:29:01 UTC; Maintainer for coreutils is bug-coreutils@HIDDEN.

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Subject: Re: bug#36831: enhance 'directory not empty' message
To: Assaf Gordon <assafgordon@HIDDEN>, Alex Mantel <alexmantel93@HIDDEN>
References: <cb555fd7-efe3-3a00-5ce9-2b15e6ff5243@HIDDEN>
 <20190729062807.GE2676@HIDDEN>
From: Paul Eggert <eggert@HIDDEN>
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Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2019 18:50:46 -0500
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This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
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On 7/29/19 1:28 AM, Assaf Gordon wrote:
> +      if (rename_errno == ENOTEMPTY || rename_errno == EEXIST)
> +        {
> +          error (0, 0, _("cannot move %s to %s: Target directory not empty"),
> +                 quoteaf_n (0, src_name), quoteaf_n (1, dst_name));

Although this is an improvement, it is not general enough, as other 
errno values are relevant only for the destination. Better would be to 
have a special case for errno values that matter only for the 
destination, and use the existing code for errno values where we don't 
know whether the problem is the source or the destination. Something 
like the attached, say.



--------------7420DB5B8BA501D59331D4B4
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 filename="mv.diff"

diff --git a/src/copy.c b/src/copy.c
index 65cf65895..b1e4557e4 100644
--- a/src/copy.c
+++ b/src/copy.c
@@ -2477,9 +2477,18 @@ copy_internal (char const *src_name, char const *dst_name,
              If the permissions on the directory containing the source or
              destination file are made too restrictive, the rename will
              fail.  Etc.  */
-          error (0, rename_errno,
-                 _("cannot move %s to %s"),
-                 quoteaf_n (0, src_name), quoteaf_n (1, dst_name));
+          switch (errno)
+            {
+            case EDQUOT: case EEXIST: case EISDIR: case ENOSPC: case ENOTEMPTY:
+              error (0, rename_errno, "%s", quotearg_colon (dst_name));
+              break;
+
+            default:
+              error (0, rename_errno,
+                     _("cannot move %s to %s"),
+                     quoteaf_n (0, src_name), quoteaf_n (1, dst_name));
+              break;
+            }
           forget_created (src_sb.st_ino, src_sb.st_dev);
           return false;
         }

--------------7420DB5B8BA501D59331D4B4--




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bug#36831; Package coreutils. Full text available.

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Subject: Re: bug#36831: enhance 'directory not empty' message
To: Assaf Gordon <assafgordon@HIDDEN>
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On Sun, Jul 28, 2019 at 11:29 PM Assaf Gordon <assafgordon@HIDDEN> wrote:
...
> What do others think? If this is a desired improvement, I'll finish the
> patch with news/tests/etc.
...
> [PATCH] mv: improve ENOTEMPTY/EEXIST error message
>
> Suggested by Alex Mantel <alexmantel93@HIDDEN> in
> https://bugs.gnu.org/36831 .
>
>     $ mkdir A B B/A
>     $ touch A/bar B/A/foo
>
> Before:
>
>     $ mv A B
>     mv: cannot move 'A' to 'B/A': Directory not empty
>
> After:
>
>     $ mv A B
>     mv: cannot move 'A' to 'B/A': Target directory not empty
>
> * src/copy.c (copy_internal): Add special handling for ENOTEMPTY/EEXIST.
> TODO: NEWS, tests.

I like it. Thank you.




Information forwarded to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN:
bug#36831; Package coreutils. Full text available.

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Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2019 00:28:07 -0600
From: Assaf Gordon <assafgordon@HIDDEN>
To: Alex Mantel <alexmantel93@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#36831: enhance 'directory not empty' message
Message-ID: <20190729062807.GE2676@HIDDEN>
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Hello,

On Sun, Jul 28, 2019 at 08:58:59PM +0200, Alex Mantel wrote:
[...] 
> Ah, the target directory does exist! Hmm... But i'd like the message to be
> like:
> 
>  $ mv thing/ ../things
>  mv: cannot move 'thing' to '../things/things': Targetdirectory not empty
> 
>  ^ this little thing here,
>  it explains everyting.
> 
> Change text from 'Directory not empty' to 'Targetdirectory not empty'.

Thanks for the report.

To clarify, the scenario is:

    $ mkdir A B B/A
    $ touch A/bar B/A/foo
    $ mv A B
    mv: cannot move 'A' to 'B/A': Directory not empty

And the reason (as you've found out) is that the target directory 'B/A'
is not empty (has the 'foo' file in it).
Had this been allowed, moving 'A' to 'B/A' would result in the 'foo'
file disappearing.

---

How is a user expecting to know this error is about that target
directory?

There is a bit of a trade-off here between user-friendliness (especially
for non-technical user) and more technical knowledge.
If we go one step 'lower' to the programming interface, almost all
sources mention this is about the 'target' directory not being empty:

POSIX's says:
https://pubs.opengroup.org/onlinepubs/009695399/functions/rename.html
    [EEXIST] or [ENOTEMPTY]
        The link named by new is a directory that is not an empty directory.

Linux's rename(2) manual page says:
    ENOTEMPTY or EEXIST
        newpath is a nonempty directory, that is, contains entries
        other than "." and "..".

FreeBSD's rename(2) manual page says:
    [ENOTEMPTY]        The to argument is a directory and is not empty.

AIX rename(2) manual page says:
     ENOTEMPTY
       The ToPath parameter specifies an existing directory that is
       not empty.


So there is some merit in claiming this helpful piece of information is
lost when the error message is reported to the user.

---

In GNU coreutils this error message originates from 'copy.c' line 2480:
https://git.savannah.gnu.org/cgit/coreutils.git/tree/src/copy.c#n2480

    error (0, rename_errno,
              _("cannot move %s to %s"),
              quoteaf_n (0, src_name), quoteaf_n (1, dst_name));

And herein lies the (technical) problem: The actual message "Directory
not empty" is not in the source code - it is a system error message
that corresponds to the value of 'rename_errno' variable
(ENOTEMPTY/EEXIST). It originates from GLibc (or another libc).

So there is no trivial way to change the error message in coreutils.

Attached a patch to add special handling for this error.

---

What do others think? If this is a desired improvement, I'll finish the
patch with news/tests/etc.


regards,
 - assaf

--24zk1gE8NUlDmwG9
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From 430b30104234db719bf15e6fc681a62312c7124f Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
From: Assaf Gordon <assafgordon@HIDDEN>
Date: Mon, 29 Jul 2019 00:23:20 -0600
Subject: [PATCH] mv: improve ENOTEMPTY/EEXIST error message

Suggested by Alex Mantel <alexmantel93@HIDDEN> in
https://bugs.gnu.org/36831 .

    $ mkdir A B B/A
    $ touch A/bar B/A/foo

Before:

    $ mv A B
    mv: cannot move 'A' to 'B/A': Directory not empty

After:

    $ mv A B
    mv: cannot move 'A' to 'B/A': Target directory not empty

* src/copy.c (copy_internal): Add special handling for ENOTEMPTY/EEXIST.
TODO: NEWS, tests.
---
 src/copy.c | 8 ++++++++
 1 file changed, 8 insertions(+)

diff --git a/src/copy.c b/src/copy.c
index 65cf65895..a5af570bf 100644
--- a/src/copy.c
+++ b/src/copy.c
@@ -2450,6 +2450,14 @@ copy_internal (char const *src_name, char const *dst_name,
           return true;
         }
 
+      if (rename_errno == ENOTEMPTY || rename_errno == EEXIST)
+        {
+          error (0, 0, _("cannot move %s to %s: Target directory not empty"),
+                 quoteaf_n (0, src_name), quoteaf_n (1, dst_name));
+          forget_created (src_sb.st_ino, src_sb.st_dev);
+          return false;
+        }
+
       /* WARNING: there probably exist systems for which an inter-device
          rename fails with a value of errno not handled here.
          If/as those are reported, add them to the condition below.
-- 
2.11.0


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To: bug-coreutils@HIDDEN
From: Alex Mantel <alexmantel93@HIDDEN>
Subject: enhance 'directory not empty' message
Message-ID: <cb555fd7-efe3-3a00-5ce9-2b15e6ff5243@HIDDEN>
Date: Sun, 28 Jul 2019 20:58:59 +0200
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i couldn't use move:

     $ mv thing/ ../things
     mv: cannot move 'thing' to '../things/things': Directory not empty

An i can not move it. i do not understand why. I have to google and find
at stackoverflow:

     Though its man page doesn't document it, mv will refuse to rename a
     directory to another directory if the target directory contains files.
     This is a good thing in your case because you turn out to want to
     merge the content of the source into the target, which mv will not do.

https://askubuntu.com/questions/269775/mv-directory-not-empty

Ah, the target directory does exist! Hmm... But i'd like the message to 
be like:

    $ mv thing/ ../things
    mv: cannot move 'thing' to '../things/things': Targetdirectory not empty

                                                   ^ this little thing here,
                                                     it explains everyting.

Change text from 'Directory not empty' to 'Targetdirectory not empty'.


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<html>
  <head>

    <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
  </head>
  <body text="#000000" bgcolor="#FFFFFF">
    <p><font face="Bitstream Vera Sans Mono">i couldn't use move: <br>
        <br>
            $ mv thing/ ../things<br>
            mv: cannot move 'thing' to '../things/things': Directory not
        empty<br>
        <br>
        An i can not move it. i do not understand why. I have to google
        and find <br>
        at stackoverflow:<br>
        <br>
            Though its man page doesn't document it, mv will refuse to
        rename a <br>
            directory to another directory if the target directory
        contains files. <br>
            This is a good thing in your case because you turn out to
        want to <br>
            merge the content of the source into the target, which mv
        will not do.<br>
        <br>
           
        <a class="moz-txt-link-freetext" href="https://askubuntu.com/questions/269775/mv-directory-not-empty">https://askubuntu.com/questions/269775/mv-directory-not-empty</a><br>
        <br>
        Ah, the target directory does exist! Hmm... But i'd like the
        message to be like:<br>
        <br>
           $ mv thing/ ../things<br>
           mv: cannot move 'thing' to '../things/things':
        Targetdirectory not empty<br>
         <br>
                                                          ^ this little
        thing here,<br>
                                                            it explains
        everyting.<br>
        <br>
        Change text from 'Directory not empty' to 'Targetdirectory not
        empty'.<br>
      </font></p>
  </body>
</html>

--------------D5E3B0345694F4B70C03080A--




Acknowledgement sent to Alex Mantel <alexmantel93@HIDDEN>:
New bug report received and forwarded. Copy sent to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN. Full text available.
Report forwarded to bug-coreutils@HIDDEN:
bug#36831; Package coreutils. Full text available.
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