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bug#40156: closed (26.3; append-to-file does not work on nonexistent fil

From: GNU bug Tracking System
Subject: bug#40156: closed (26.3; append-to-file does not work on nonexistent file over ssh)
Date: Sat, 21 Mar 2020 09:32:01 +0000

Your message dated Sat, 21 Mar 2020 10:30:54 +0100
with message-id <address@hidden>
and subject line Re: bug#40156: 26.3; append-to-file does not work on 
nonexistent file over ssh
has caused the debbugs.gnu.org bug report #40156,
regarding 26.3; append-to-file does not work on nonexistent file over ssh
to be marked as done.

(If you believe you have received this mail in error, please contact

40156: http://debbugs.gnu.org/cgi/bugreport.cgi?bug=40156
GNU Bug Tracking System
Contact address@hidden with problems
--- Begin Message --- Subject: 26.3; append-to-file does not work on nonexistent file over ssh Date: Fri, 20 Mar 2020 17:14:16 -0400
Hi folks,

The append-to-file function (and the underlying write-region in append
mode) fails over ssh (via tramp) when applied to a nonexistent file. The
same invocation creates the file transparently when invoked locally.

I think tramp should create the file as in the local usage, if
possible. If this is not possible, the discrepancy should be documented
somewhere. (Apologies if it is documented somewhere; I tried to find it
and could not.)

The following (edited) eshell transcript demonstrates the behavior
(though it works the same in Lisp):

Welcome to the Emacs shell

> ~ $ ls 
> ~ $ append-to-file "something" nil nonexistent.txt 
> ~ $ cat nonexistent.txt 
> something~ $ 
> ~ $ 
> ~ $ cd /ssh:remote: 
> /ssh:remote:/home/user $ ls 
> /ssh:remote:/home/user $ append-to-file "something" nil nonexistent.txt 
> File ‘/ssh:remote:/home/user/nonexistent.txt’ not found on remote host
> /ssh:remote:/home/user $ 
> /ssh:remote:/home/user $ touch nonexistent.txt 
> /ssh:remote:/home/user $ 
> /ssh:remote:/home/user $ append-to-file "something" nil nonexistent.txt 
> /ssh:remote:/home/user $ 
> /ssh:remote:/home/user $ cat nonexistent.txt 
> something/ssh:remote:/home/user $ 

In GNU Emacs 26.3 (build 1, x86_64-apple-darwin18.2.0, NS appkit-1671.20 
Version 10.14.3 (Build 18D109))
of 2019-09-02 built on builder10-14.porkrind.org
Windowing system distributor 'Apple', version 10.3.1975

Configured using:
'configure --with-ns '--enable-locallisppath=/Library/Application
Support/Emacs/site-lisp' --with-modules'

Configured features:

Important settings:
  value of $LANG: en_US.UTF-8
  locale-coding-system: utf-8-unix

Major mode: Eshell

Minor modes in effect:
  shell-dirtrack-mode: t
  tooltip-mode: t
  global-eldoc-mode: t
  electric-indent-mode: t
  mouse-wheel-mode: t
  tool-bar-mode: t
  menu-bar-mode: t
  file-name-shadow-mode: t
  global-font-lock-mode: t
  font-lock-mode: t
  blink-cursor-mode: t
  auto-composition-mode: t
  auto-encryption-mode: t
  auto-compression-mode: t
  line-number-mode: t
  transient-mark-mode: t

Load-path shadows:
None found.

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Memory information:
((conses 16 236075 13044)
(symbols 48 23407 1)
(miscs 40 55 96)
(strings 32 40652 1787)
(string-bytes 1 1228751)
(vectors 16 40619)
(vector-slots 8 799289 20336)
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(buffers 992 14))

--- End Message ---
--- Begin Message --- Subject: Re: bug#40156: 26.3; append-to-file does not work on nonexistent file over ssh Date: Sat, 21 Mar 2020 10:30:54 +0100 User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/28.0.50 (gnu/linux)
Version: 27.2

Sean Devlin <address@hidden> writes:

> Hi folks,

Hi Sean,

> I did a little digging, and I think the problem is in
> tramp-sh-handle-write-region around line 3240:
>>        ;; If `append' is non-nil, we copy the file locally, and let
>>        ;; the native `write-region' implementation do the job.
>>        (when append (copy-file filename tmpfile 'ok))
> It looks like copy-file fails if filename doesn’t exist. Adding a test
> for file existence (i.e. file-exists-p) to the condition seems to
> solve the problem, though admittedly I only tested for my own narrow
> use case.

Thanks, and yes, your analysis is correct. I've committed a respective
patch to Emacs master. I've extended also tramp-tests.el
accordingly. The patch is appended.

Since Emacs 27.1 is already in pretest, I haven't applied it there. The
next Tramp release in GNU ELPA,, will contain the patch. It is
expected end of March.

> Thanks!

Best regards, Michael.

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--- End Message ---

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