[PATCH] Use POSIX standardized options for head(1) and tail(1)

Michael Forney mforney at mforney.org
Fri May 1 18:11:03 AEST 2020

On 2020-04-30, Mark D. Baushke <mdb at juniper.net> wrote:
> Michael Forney said that he was trying to run on a system that did NOT
> support head -number and tail +number old-style format.

The tail implementation I'm using is from sbase. It does support the
old-style -number, but not +number.

> I recommend the change from
>      (head -2 .depend; tail +3 .depend | sort) >.depend.tmp
> to
>      (sed 2q .depend; sed 1,2d .depend | sort) > .depend.tmp
> should do the job correctly for all instances of sed I have ever used.

This works for me.

> Failing this solution, coming up with a 'configure' script test might be
> possible that provides for a compatibility test for using of -n options
> for head and tail

I don't think this would be necessary. The 'depend' rule is usually
only used by the openssh developers to regenerate .depend, so it
really only needs to work on the systems they are using. I only ran it
because I was experimenting with some local changes and wanted to
update .depend. There were no problems with a normal build. I know my
system is rather unusual, so it doesn't make sense to alter these
maintenance commands for it if it would break on other systems.

Anyway, I apologize for the commotion. I support Mark's suggested
change if that is acceptable, but if not, it's really not a big deal.


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