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Re: bin/57434: cp(1) -P description is misleading.
The following reply was made to PR bin/57434; it has been noted by GNATS.
From: Robert Elz <kre%munnari.OZ.AU@localhost>
Subject: Re: bin/57434: cp(1) -P description is misleading.
Date: Wed, 24 May 2023 20:41:21 +0700
Date: Wed, 24 May 2023 09:50:00 +0000 (UTC)
| The cp(1) manpage says the following about -P option:
| -P No symbolic links are followed. This is the default.
Before I say anything else, let me first agree with you, the man page
is not at all good (not clear).
| But cp without -P (nor -R) follows symlinks.
Not always. It depends upon -r as well. A simple cp of a file does
follow symlinks, a cp -r of a directory tree does not. So whether -P
is the default or not, depends...
Of course, it also isn't great that cp(1) doesn't mention the -r flag
at all (it is similar to -R, an older variant, but different).
| When I see syntax in SYNOPSIS section, I can understand that -P should
| be specified with -R.
Actually, no, -P and -R aren't (quite) that closely related. However -P
is related to -H and -L (at most 1 of those three can be set) and -H and -L
only apply when -R is set. It is all very murky... (-r and -R can't both
be used, in fact, with -r, none of -R -P -L or -H can also be set - which
is kind of odd, as -r kind of implies -P, without setting it).
| However, -P can be specified without -R. I don't know what is correct
| (intended) situation, but the followings are that I observed:
I believe your observations are correct. However (unsuprisingly) you
didn't test the (rather older) -r option - when that's set -P is (more or
less) set as well (it is, but it isn't....)
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