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bug#29788: chown: recursive operation with "-H" flag does not work as do

From: Michael Orlitzky
Subject: bug#29788: chown: recursive operation with "-H" flag does not work as documented
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2017 16:26:56 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/52.4.0

On 12/20/2017 03:58 PM, Bernhard Voelker wrote:
> I think there is something else going on you didn't consider:
>        --dereference      affect the referent of each symbolic link (this is
>                           the default), rather than the symbolic link itself
> ...
> Thus, I think this not a bug in chmod or the documentation, but in the
> your expectations.  Therefore, I'm marking this as not-a-bug in our bug
> tracker.  Of course, you are welcome to continue the discussion, and if
> needed we can reopen this issue at a later point.

Thank you, you might be right. To explain how I wound up in this
situation, what I was actually running was,

  $ chown --recursive --dereference root foo

which emits an error:

  chown: -R --dereference requires either -H or -L

At that point, I consulted the documentation to see how "-H" and "-L"

  -H  if a command line argument is a symbolic link  to  a  directory,
      traverse it

  -L  traverse every symbolic link to a directory encountered

By way of omission I expected -H not to follow directory symlinks that
weren't explicitly passed, but I can see how the interpretation could go
either way. The choice of "-H" or "-L" adds to the "--dereference"
option, whereas I thought it was asking me to choose (only) one of the
two modes of operation.

Thanks for your time.

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