[Rd] file.rename(): Guaranteed to be complete or not at all?
hb at biostat.ucsf.edu
Wed Mar 2 19:47:12 CET 2011
Thank you very much for these pointers.
In order to lower the risk for proceeding unknowingly with (3) or (4),
I'll keep my post-rename tests for them (understanding that it is
still not bullet proof).
On Tue, Mar 1, 2011 at 11:01 PM, Prof Brian Ripley
<ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk> wrote:
> As the help says:
> This is subject to the limitations of the OS's corresponding system
> call: ....
> E.g. on Fedora 14 'man 2 rename' says, inter alia,
> 'If newpath already exists it will be atomically replaced (subject to a few
> conditions; see ERRORS below), so that there is no point at which another
> process attempting to access newpath will find it missing.
> However, when overwriting there will probably be a window in which both
> oldpath and newpath refer to the file being renamed.
> On NFS file systems, you can not assume that if the operation failed the
> file was not renamed.'
> and for Windows see
> where R uses flags (MOVEFILE_REPLACE_EXISTING | MOVEFILE_COPY_ALLOWED |
> Windows 95 was an example of an OS which could delete the 'to' file and fail
> to move 'from'.
> On Tue, 1 Mar 2011, Henrik Bengtsson wrote:
>> assume I have an existing file 'pathname' and I want to rename it to
>> 'pathnameN' (which does not exist). I use:
>> res <- file.rename(pathname, pathnameN);
>> Is it guaranteed that:
>> (1) if res == TRUE, the file now have name 'pathnameN' and there is no
>> file with name 'pathname'?
>> (2) if res == FALSE, nothing has changed?
>> or could it theoretically also be the case that
>> (3) there are say two identical files named 'pathname' and 'pathnameN',
>> (4) or worse, that neither exists?
>> I can see how (3) could happen if the file is renamed by first using
>> file.copy() and then file.remove() while there is lack of write/delete
>> permission for the latter.
>> Currently, my code asserts that (3) and (4) did not happen. Is that
>> unnecessary - does file.rename() do that for me (regardless of OS)?
>> R-devel at r-project.org mailing list
> Brian D. Ripley, ripley at stats.ox.ac.uk
> Professor of Applied Statistics, http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~ripley/
> University of Oxford, Tel: +44 1865 272861 (self)
> 1 South Parks Road, +44 1865 272866 (PA)
> Oxford OX1 3TG, UK Fax: +44 1865 272595
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