Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 441862
wget 1.11 regression: -N disallowed with -O
Last modified: 2008-10-01 02:37:55 EDT
wget 1.11 disallows -N with -O (and also "timestamping = on" in wgetrc with -O).
This breaks scripts that used to work fine without no good reason as far as I
can tell. One example of such broken script is cdiff from the colordiff
package, to reproduce:
1) Make sure there's a "timestamping = on" in /etc/wgetrc or ~/.wgetrc.
2) Try running "cdiff http://anything"
I think I can work around this in colordiff by patching, but I'd suggest making
use of -N and -O together in wget a warning and not a fatal error in order to
not break backwards compatibility.
Also reported upstream: https://savannah.gnu.org/bugs/index.php?22896
A quick grep through my F-8 x86_64 system reveals that at least these tools are
broken with "timestamping = on" in wgetrc and wget 1.11:
Upstream agrees that use of timestamping with -O should be a warning, not error.
Upstream is aware of this and thinks that this is a misunderstanding in the
meaning of the -O option. Please take a look at the thread starting at
From Micah's mail:
Of course, the whole thing really draws more attention to the fact that
-O is really a pretty confusing option. Most people who read about it
expect it to work like "use this name for the file, instead of a normal
one", when really it works a heluva lot more like shell redirection,
with all its newly-created/truncated-file implications. Given this, it
might have made sense to also add -c to the list of options disallowed
Hm, NOTABUG, so apps that used to work fine but no longer do due to wget's
(gratuitous IMO) change are the ones that are buggy, not wget?
If so (or even if CANTFIX), then at least the following Fedora packages need to
be checked whether they use "wget -O" and if so, "-e timestamping=off" added to
those commands, or perhaps better changed to use something else like curl instead:
I've already patched abcde in Fedora devel, found that rpmdevtools is not
affected, and sent patches to pciutils and libsmi upstreams (no responses so
far). Would you mind assisting in checking the rest if you think this is not
something that should be fixed in wget?
(Reopening for comments/tracking of progress in checking apps that use wget.)
I did some mail exchange with Micah too. I think if we can't fix the case for
timestamping=on in ~/.wgetrc working, this change should be reverted in the
Fedora package at least.
As for the -O confusion, the man page is where that kind of stuff should go.
Update: Wget 1.11.3 will downgrade this to a warning, and effectively do "-e
timestamping=off" when -O is used (to prevent silly warnings; no other effects
(This will be the only change in 1.11.3, aside from updated translations; the
release is expected to take place within the next couple of weeks.)
Any ETA when we might see a fixed version in released distro versions?
Any updates? See comment 7.
working on it....
wget-1.11.4-1.fc9 has been submitted as an update for Fedora 9.
wget-1.11.4-1.fc9 has been pushed to the Fedora 9 testing repository. If problems still persist, please make note of it in this bug report.
If you want to test the update, you can install it with
su -c 'yum --enablerepo=updates-testing update wget'. You can provide feedback for this update here: http://admin.fedoraproject.org/updates/F9/FEDORA-2008-7538
wget-1.11.4-1.fc9 has been pushed to the Fedora 9 stable repository. If problems still persist, please make note of it in this bug report.