ash and bash: Backquotes don't work reliably on Windows 2000

Martin Oberhuber
Wed Jun 20 08:18:00 GMT 2001


we have found out that on some Windows 2000 computers (particularly
very fast laptops with rather slow hard disk), the result of a command 
in backquotes isn't put into the variable associated reliably. A 
command like 


will return the correct result most of the time, but will sometimes 
return an EMPTY result! It looks like a race condition where the 
shell tries to read the program's output before the subprocess for
uname is finished... This is extremely annoying and makes it 
impossible to write reliable shellscripts!

The problem is very hard to reproduce. It seems to turn up only
on few computers, and only with lots of disk access around the
"backquote sections".

Is this problem already known, and what can we do to fix it?

I can try and put together a simple shellscript for reproducing
the problem, if needed.

Best regards,
Martin Oberhuber

DI Martin Oberhuber      
Senior Software Engineer           Phone  (UTC +1h): +43 (662) 457915-85
Wind River Systems (Salzburg) GmbH              Fax: +43 (662) 457915-6
Jakob-Haringer-Str.8, A-5020 Salzburg, Austria
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