"man" hangs attempting to access UNC paths

Adam Dinwoodie adam@dinwoodie.org
Fri Apr 29 20:38:00 GMT 2016


On Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 10:48:20AM -0600, Eric Blake wrote:
> On 04/29/2016 10:32 AM, joeking wrote:
> > So I figured out what causes this - but I don't know why.
> > 
> > "/" ended up in my path - from some imported configuration in .bashrc.
> > When I don't have "/" in the path, then man works.
> > 
> > So, given that, why would that cause man to reference UNC paths?
> 
> Probably because man has a bug that causes it to use
> ${name_from_path}/suffix, which works fine if ${name_from_path} is
> anything other than /, but which creates a UNC path if it is exactly /.
> 
> And the bug is not noticed on other platforms where // and / are identical.

This is, to be clear, a bug, albeit a bug that manifests pretty much
only on Cygwin: POSIX defines paths starting with // as being down to
the implementation to assign meaning, so they're not portable.  Most
POSIX or POSIX-like operating systems interpret // as identical to /,
hence it not causing a problem most of the time, but Cygwin uses it for
UNC paths.

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