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* limitation?

From: Tony A. Lambley
Subject: * limitation?
Date: 11 Jul 2002 07:19:14 +0100

Hi, This isn't a real bug, but I thought I'd better mention it anyway as
I've hit it a few times now. I guess it stems from the days when storage
was rare and memory rarer.

Basically, I've occasionally have problems with the limit imposed by the
"*" operator when handling files. E.g.

address@hidden 2002-replaced]$ rm -f *
bash: /bin/rm: Argument list too long

address@hidden 2002-replaced]$ ls | wc -l
 231937 (yeah yeah I know!)

address@hidden 2002-replaced]$ ls * | wc -l
bash: /bin/ls: Argument list too long

In this case I can simple delete the dir and recreate it. The situation
has only come to light since moving a process off an NT box onto a 
GNU/Linux samba combo.

I find it interesting that the `ls' works for an obscene number of
files, yet `ls *' doesn't. bash fails nicely as above, but /bin/sh
either returns "Segmentation fault" or kills my connection!

Any ideas (other than "don't get involved with legacy systems that store
lots of files in a single dir")?


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