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bug#42402: Enhancement request re zcat with empty files

From: Peter Horn
Subject: bug#42402: Enhancement request re zcat with empty files
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 2020 13:42:04 +1000
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.10.0

Hello list,

This is my first post here, so apologies in advance for whatever I get wrong.

I am asking for an enhancement to zcat, that it should silently ignore empty files, either always, or (if that conflicts with POSIX or some other standard), by a command line option.

My use case is as follows:
I maintain a server, and have occasion to scan log files for specific items.
As is typical in a logrotate environment, the files are something like

xyz.log              current
xyz.log.1           previous
xyz.log.3.gz      etc etc

Most of the time I can search for something by

zgrep 'target' xyz*

But, wanting to further process a number of entries, I tried the obvious

zcat xyz* | awk ...

which results in

gzip: xyz.log.1: unexpected end of file

I note that it correctly handles archives with no content (just the 20 byte header)


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