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Re: Changes to the filesystem while find is running - comments?

From: James Youngman
Subject: Re: Changes to the filesystem while find is running - comments?
Date: Tue, 23 Nov 2004 00:00:41 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.3.28i

On Tue, Nov 23, 2004 at 07:39:56AM +1100, Paul Szabo wrote:

> What I would like to see implemented (in some messy pseudo-code, starting
> in parent directory):
>   PARENT=stat(".");
>   SUBDIR=stat("subdir");
>   chdir("subdir");
>   DOT=stat(".");
>   if (SUBDIR != DOT) {
>     Print warning message    /*[1]*/
>   }
>   else {
>     Go on with find (recurse)
>   }
>   chdir("..");
>   DOT=stat(".");
>   if (PARENT != DOT) {
>     Print message
>     Exit with fatal error
>   }
> Do not descend into "dodgy" directories, but back out of them; exit fatally
> if you cannot get back to solid ground.
> Is this doable?

Certainly.  In fact it's how GNU findutils is implemented, except for
the fact that the "warning message" is a fatal error in GNU findutils
releases up to and including 4.2.5.  In later versions (we're
currently at 4.2.7 on ftp://alpha.gnu.org/gnu/findutils) a hack was
introduced to try to support a special case which works when we've
traversed an automount mount point on Solaris).

This algorithm is certainly robust, but it will never descend into an
automount directory hierarchy.  Do you think we can do better than
that without opening the door to more exploits?


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