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Re: Segfault in patch

From: Bob Proulx
Subject: Re: Segfault in patch
Date: Fri, 9 Jan 2009 14:56:48 -0700
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.13 (2006-08-11)

Bryce Nesbitt wrote:
> Is this the proper place for "patch" bug reports?

Sending to address@hidden, as you have done, is the proper place
since that is the documented address for bug reports.  Let me note
that that address should go directly to the patch maintainers and I
believe also to the bug-gnu-utils mailing list.  I am a little fuzzy
on that so don't quote me unless it proves true later.  :-)

> I see references to a "address@hidden" mailing list all over the
> gnu website, but can't find the actual list.

There are several utilities that all forward to the shared
bug-gnu-utils mailing list but there isn't a page advertising this
anywhere.  Additionally several projects including patch have mail
sent to bug-PROJECT sent directly to the maintainers as well.

> Patch mishandles the program name when parsing arguments:
> $ ./patch -Verbose
> Segmentation fault

Of course -Verbose should be --verbose but it should not core dump in
any case.

> $ patch -Verbose
> patch: invalid argument `erbose' for `--version-control or -V option'
> Valid arguments are:
>  - `none', `off'
>  - `simple', `never'
>  - `existing', `nil'
>  - `numbered', `t'
> $ patch --version
> patch 2.5.9

This is the correct behavior.  So at least the 'patch' installed on
your system appears to be operating correctly.

       -V method  or  --version-control=method
          Use method to determine backup file names.

And it didn't core dump.  So all is good.

> (gdb) run  -Verbose < patch.c
> Starting program: /home/bnesbitt/work/patch-2.5.4/patch -Verbose < patch.c

This makes it appear to me that you have patch 2.5.9 installed on your
system and it is found by PATH when you say "patch -Verbose" and it is
behaving correctly for you.  And you also have patch 2.5.4, an older
version, self compiled and this older version is the one that you are

Without looking I can only presume that this was a bug that was fixed
between the two versions.  Is there a reason that you are trying to
use the older 2.5.4 version instead of the newer 2.5.9 one?

Now, regardless of everything else, I note that 2.5.4 is the last
"official" GNU release available from the official ftp.gnu.org site.
It is regrettable that this has lagged getting an official release
since 1999.  But I think most people are using the newer 2.5.9 test
release available from alpha.gnu.org because it contains various
updates which are needed and has proven quite stable in practice.  A
pragmatic answer.


If you are using a self-compiled version then can you try compiling
the 'patch' version 2.5.9 from there and seeing if it resolves your

> Bad references to the bug patch mailing list are here:
> http://www.gnu.org/software/diffutils/manual/html_node/Bugs.html

The maintainers for patch have set it up so that bug-patch sends
reports to them directly.  I see in the changelog that this was done
with the 2.5.5 version of patch.  So I don't think we can call
address@hidden a bad address.  It is just confusing that there
isn't an associated mailing list just for that one program.  But it is
a single program and so sharing it here in bug-gnu-utils seems

Please let us know!


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