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Re: cp, mv time/date update bugs

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: cp, mv time/date update bugs
Date: Wed, 23 Feb 2005 11:03:18 -0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.1006 (Gnus v5.10.6) Emacs/21.4 (gnu/linux)

Marty <address@hidden> writes:

> cp updates the timestamps of soft linked files, during recursive copies
> using the options -al.

Most operating systems don't let "cp" set the time stamps of symbolic
links, so this is unavoidable.  A few OS'es (e.g., FreeBSD) do have
the "lutimes" system call, which would allow "cp" to do the right
thing here.  However, your OS (Debian GNU/Linux) doesn't have lutimes,
so you'd be out of luck even if "cp" were fixed to use lutimes when
available (volunteers coders are welcome :-).

> I don't seem to be able to reproduce this effect on a single
> softlink.  mv has a similar bug-it updates the time and date of
> directories when moving or renaming them.

If the directory moves, then on many operating systems the directory
has changed (e.g., its parent changes), so it's appropriate for its
time stamp to be updated.

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