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Re: findutils-4.1.20: a comment on xargs.c arg_max

From: Andreas Metzler
Subject: Re: findutils-4.1.20: a comment on xargs.c arg_max
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 16:16:46 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.6+20040907i

On 2004-12-09 "Nelson H. F. Beebe" <address@hidden> wrote:
> The code for findutils-4.1.20/xargs/xargs.c contains this fragment:

>   /* Sanity check for systems with huge ARG_MAX defines (e.g., Suns which
>      have it at 1 meg).  Things will work fine with a large ARG_MAX but it
>      will probably hurt the system more than it needs to; an array of this
>      size is allocated.  */
>   if (arg_max > 20 * 1024)
>     arg_max = 20 * 1024;

> In earlier releases of GNU findutils, I had made a local modification
> to comment out that statement.

> We no longer live in a PDP-11 world, and modern systems often have
> many gigabytes of main memory.  It seems utterly draconian to limit
> arg_max to 20KB, and I'm very sceptical that larger values will "hurt
> the system". 

Quoting NEWS:
* Major changes in release 4.2.4
*** xargs now uses 128Kb of command line by default (less if the system
    doesn't support that much).

>       % find /usr/include/ -type f | xargs grep frobnitz
>       xargs: environment is too large for exec

Known bug. Fixed with:
* Major changes in release 4.2.0
** Functionality Changes
*** xargs now works better when the environment variables are very extensive.
    The xargs command used to run into difficulties if the environment
    data contained more than 20480 bytes.

Separate patch available from:
                  cu andreas
"See, I told you they'd listen to Reason," [SPOILER] Svfurlr fnlf,
fuhggvat qbja gur juveyvat tha.
Neal Stephenson in "Snow Crash"

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