bin/149424: fstab and labels with whitespace

Walter C. Pelissero walter at
Tue Aug 17 14:30:04 UTC 2010

The following reply was made to PR conf/149424; it has been noted by GNATS.

From: walter at (Walter C. Pelissero)
To: Oliver Fromme <olli at>
Cc: freebsd-bugs at FreeBSD.ORG, bug-followup at FreeBSD.ORG
Subject: Re: bin/149424: fstab and labels with whitespace
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2010 16:21:58 +0200

 Oliver Fromme writes:
  > Walter C. Pelissero wrote:
  >  > Oliver Fromme writes:
  >  > > The problem with this patch is that it breaks backwards-
  >  > > compatibility.  Some people might already use backslashes
  >  > 
  >  > As far as I remember, the patch I proposed allowed a double backslash
  >  > ('\\') to mean a single backslash ('\').
  > Sure, but still everyone who uses backslashes will have to
  > change his /etc/fstab *in advance*, or otherwise his box
  > will not boot after the update.
 It seems to be unlikely there are systems out there relying on a
 boot-time mounted filesystem whose device path (or label) contains a
 backslash.  Certainly not a great deal of those.
 Maybe you care to give us some concrete example.  Who knows, there
 could be a BSD distribution, that I failed to notice, with a really
 bizarre naming convention for the device drivers.
  > Changing the syntax of /etc/fstab is a very delicate issue.
 Acute observation, indeed.
  > Of course, it would be possible to change the syntax in a
  > backwards-compatible way.  But this would require more code
  > and would potentially introduce more complications.
 Maybe you should leave alone the generic considerations of
 circumstance and write some code yourself.
 In the past 8 years there have been three different proposals and
 concrete implementations.  You could add your own.  So we would at
 least know what you mean with "backwards-compatible way".
  >  > > in /etc/fstab, for whatever reason.  This change would
  >  > > make them rather unhappy, I'm afraid.
  >  > 
  >  > Being unhappy for having to change a couple of entries in fstab is not
  >  > nearly as bad as not being able to insert an entry altogether.
  > As I wrote, there are several workarounds.
 Then, why do you write it again?
 walter pelissero

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