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Bug 59396 - find-requires: head: invalid option -- 1
find-requires: head: invalid option -- 1
Product: Red Hat Linux
Classification: Retired
Component: rpm (Show other bugs)
i386 Linux
medium Severity medium
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Assigned To: Jeff Johnson
Depends On:
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Reported: 2002-02-06 18:13 EST by Joop Susan
Modified: 2008-05-01 11:38 EDT (History)
0 users

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Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Bug Fix
Doc Text:
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Last Closed: 2002-02-10 15:57:57 EST
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Description Joop Susan 2002-02-06 18:13:10 EST
Description of Problem:
In the last phase of RPM building 'rpm -ba' gives error message:
head: invalid option -- 1
Try `head --help' for more information.
Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):
rpm-4.0.3-1.03 and rpm-build-4.0.3-1.03
How Reproducible:
Steps to Reproduce:
1. rpm -ba tetex.spec (for instance)
Actual Results:
head: invalid option -- 1
Try `head --help' for more information.
Often many, many repeats...
Expected Results:
At least not this error message ;-)
Additional Information:
My '/usr/bin/head' is from 'textutils-2.0.14-2' (standard RedHat 7.2 issue).
If we change 4 occurrences of 'tail -1' into 'tail --lines=1' in the files
the error messages go away.
NOTE: According to a quick search, there are many other packages that suffer   
from this problem:
root@Helix:~# cat /etc/redhat-release
Red Hat Linux release 7.2 (Enigma)
root@Helix:~# rpm -qf `grep -rl 'head -1' /usr/bin`
Comment 1 Jeff Johnson 2002-02-07 11:16:18 EST
I'm not sure what to tell you, as I build daily
using head(1) from the 7.2 textutils package
without problem.

Can you provide more information?
Comment 2 Joop Susan 2002-02-10 15:57:52 EST
I've turned my system upside-down and found that it is indeed a problem with
my system.

'which head' returns '/usr/bin/head'. RedHat 7.2 aliasses 'which' 
(in /etc/profile.d/which-2.sh) to 
'alias | /usr/bin/which --tty-only --read-alias --show-dot --show-tilde'.
This alias also only returned the expected '/usr/bin/head'.

Bash' 'type -all head' on the other hand, also found a bash function that
redefined 'head' to 'head () { command head --lines=30 "$@" }', obviously to
extract a few more lines than the default 10. This knit was hiding in

That happens if you copy rc-files from an old system to the new one ;-)

The '-1' switch that RedHat's 'rpm' uses does work, but only if it is the
only or the first option.

'/usr/bin/head -1 /etc/passwd' works
'/usr/bin/head -1 -v /etc/passwd' works too, but
'/usr/bin/head -v -1 /etc/passwd' does not.

So the '-1' option is breakable.

'/usr/bin/head --lines=1 --verbose /etc/passwd' works.
'/usr/bin/head --verbose --lines=1 /etc/passwd' works.

So the '--lines=1' option seem more robust that the '-1' option.

The "bug" was the fact that I added an option before the '-1' in the        
function. So to get rid of it on my system only needed getting rid op the      
function and the change from '-1' to '--lines=1' was not really needed.

My 'build' broke because '/usr/bin/head --lines=30 -1 /etc/passwd' does not
work. My solution of using the '--lines=1' option worked because 
'/usr/bin/head --lines=30 --lines=1 /etc/passwd' does give the required
result (one line) and not an error message.

Although the fault turned out to be mine, I would nevertheless prefer to use
'--lines=1' given the fact that is is apparently more robust.

Using '-n 1' works as well as '--lines=1'.

I hope this time my testing was more thorough...

I'll rename my 'head' function to 'h30' ;-)
Comment 3 Jeff Johnson 2002-02-11 15:11:40 EST
While I can appreciate your pain in debugging, the underlying
problem is that of shell aliases are kinda borken in unix. Even
though I can contemplate "hardening" of rpm scripts to
avoid the problem by either
	1) using the long option variant (as you've suggested)
	2) hardwiring a /usr/bin/head path to avoid aliases
I don't believe that the effort is worthwhile: there's no clear
win AFAICT, it's just life with unix shell.

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