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find should complain more clearly on backtrack failure and abort

From: Coleman, Michael
Subject: find should complain more clearly on backtrack failure and abort
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2007 14:38:27 -0500


I noticed a sort of failure mode while diagnosing an odd problem with our NFS 
server.  Specifically, it looks like find is using 'open("..")' to ascend the 
directory tree, but this may fail, in which case find seems to emit a 
"permission denied" and abort.

I think a normal user would assume that this error message just means that the 
particular directory cannot be visited, but that things are otherwise fine.  In 
fact it appears that find completely gives up in this case, therefore not 
searching the rest of the tree (even though it could in principle do so without 
error).  If this is so, it seems like the error message should state this 
clearly.  For example:  "backtrack failed--find aborted!" or some such, to 
indicate that the results of the run are fairly meaningless.

I didn't have time to look through the source at length, so it's possible that 
I'm misunderstanding what's going on.


8383  open("..", O_RDONLY|O_NOFOLLOW)   = -1 EACCES (Permission denied)
8383  write(2, "find: ", 6)             = 6
8383  write(2, "/n/proteomics/conaway/tiy/Med8_g"..., 48) = 48
8383  write(2, ": Permission denied", 19) = 19
8383  write(2, "\n", 1)                 = 1
8383  close(1)                          = 0
8383  munmap(0x2aaaaaac4000, 8192)      = 0
8383  exit_group(1)                     = ?

address@hidden find --version
GNU find version 4.2.25
Features enabled: D_TYPE O_NOFOLLOW(enabled) LEAF_OPTIMISATION
address@hidden uname -a
Linux genekc02 2.6.14-prepsimr-amd64 #1 SMP Sat Dec 17 14:02:44 CST 2005 x86_64 

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