Subject: Re: bin/8681: grep may bomb out with "memory exhausted"
To: Simon Burge <>
From: Charles M. Hannum <>
List: netbsd-bugs
Date: 10/28/1999 07:20:38
Simon Burge <> writes:

> Personally, I'd be happy to put the size limit in and put a note in the
> man page stating "you may have problems if you are searching for a regex
> that is greater than 4MB, or if you want to see a line greater than 2MB
> long that has a match".  This doesn't seem unreasonable to me...

It is completely unreasonable to introduce an arbitrary limit like
this and make the failure mode `silently do the wrong thing'.  If
you're going to intentionally make grep(1) do something other than
what it's documented and expected to do, then it should at least fail
with a message explaining what happened and how to work around it.