SegFault running "ls -l" after Microsoft Patch Day

Dr Rainer Woitok
Wed Dec 30 18:12:00 GMT 2015

Sorry Cygwinners,

currently I'm having  massive problems  posting to the  Cygwin list.   I
don't even get rejection mails, my posts simply don't make it :-(

My first try  was back on 2015-12-21,  several more have  followed since

Happy New Year to all of you :-)

------------------ My original post from 2015-12-21: -------------------


On Sunday, 2015-12-20 11:41:16 +0000, you wrote:

> ...
> > and (of all things!) contain blanks, 
> * rant mode on *
> What's wrong with blanks?

Actually nothing.  I myself am using plenty of blanks, for instance when
writing e-mails.  But you seem to have  totally missed my point.   I was
NOT talking about  blanks in  path names  but about  blanks in  user and
group names.   And there they DO  have a tendency  to spoil  parsing the
output from commands like  "ls -l",  "id", "ps", and probably many more.
Consider you have users "A" and  "A B" as well as  groups "B C" and "C",
and then go and correctly parse

   -rwxr-xr-x 1 A B C 0 2015-12-21 13:18 example

keeping in  mind that  "ls"  does not provide  null-terminated  user and
group names in its output.

Unix simply wasn't designed  for blanks in these places,  even though it
is liberal enough  to allow you to put  your foot in your mouth,  if you
want to.  However, I prefer the good old Unix paradigm of keeping simple
things simple, which means in the case at hand of keeping user and group
names blank free.

Corinna wanted to  know why someone  would use own "passwd"  and "group"
files, and I explained why I'm using them and what kind of changes I in-
troduced there.  Your milage may vary.


Meanwhile I tested "cygwin1-20151216.dll".   The good news: no more seg-
mentation faults when running "ls -l /C".  The bad news: While "Unknown+
User" is still translated to "other"  via my last line in "/etc/passwd",
the corresponding line in file "/etc/group"  no longer seems to have any
effect.  Whenever the group is not determinable, "Unknown+Group" is now

And since you hinted  that this "other:*:" trick  only worked by happen-
stance, I'm now having an item on my Cygwin Christmas wish list:

   A way to configure  strings different from "Unknown+User",  "Unknown+
   Group",  "CurrentSession",  and "OtherSession"  in one  of the  files
   "/etc/passwd", "/etc/group",  or "/etc/nsswitch.conf" or even in env-
   ironment variable "CYGWIN".

Apart from that I'm considering my original problem solved.

Thanks Corinna, and Happy Holidays :-)


| Rainer M Woitok                | Phone : (+49 60 93) 487 95 95       |
| Kolpingstraße 3                | Mobile: (+49 172) 813 6 831         |
| D-63846 Laufach                | Mail  : Rainer.Woitok@Gmail.Com     |
| Germany                        |                                     |

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