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Re: chown and bash trashed part of system

From: Vincent Chapman
Subject: Re: chown and bash trashed part of system
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2008 08:09:21 -0700

I understand, but there are still incosistancies in the unix world of
shells.  Try this and you'll understand how one(I) could make this

$ sudo bash echo .*
. .. .hidden_files

in zsh 

$ sudo zsh echo .*

zsh would not have accended into the parent directories.  Bash will.

One would not stop to think that one shell would handle something so
simple as .* differently from other shells.  I know assume spells... but
thats what happened.



On Wed, 2008-12-31 at 00:28 -0700, Bob Proulx wrote:
> Vincent Chapman wrote:
> > $ sudo chown -R vincent:vincent * 
> When using -R and other commands in recursive mode you generally don't
> want to use '*'.  Simply use '.' in that case.
>   sudo chown -R vincent:vincent .
> The command will recurse down '.' directory and do what you wanted.
> That would have included all files hidden and otherwise.
> Personally I prefer find in this case.
>   find . -exec chown vincent:vincent {} +
> > changed all but the hidden folders, so did not work for this situation
> > $ sudo chown -R vincent:vincent .*  
> > Command very bad.  
> > ...
> > Luckily I only messed up three user home directories.  Should there be a
> > filter for '..' that prohibts chown from assending towards / ?
> Have you ever used a kitchen knife?  I can't imagine a kitchen without
> one.  Have you ever cut yourself while using a kitchen knife?  We all
> have at one time or another.  The classic thought experiment (IIRC by
> Andrew Koenig) is to design a kitchen knife that will make it
> impossible to hurt yourself while using it.  After having thought
> about the problem and created a design the follow-up question is,
> would you use such a knife in the kitchen yourself?
> This is a useful thought experiment that always comes to my mind when
> people try to make it impossible to do bad things because that also
> tends to restrict people from doing good things too.
> Bob
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