Slowing Linux to a crawl

D. Hugh Redelmeier hugh-pmF8o41NoarQT0dZR+AlfA at
Fri Jul 31 03:40:48 UTC 2009

| From: Giles Orr <gilesorr-Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w at>

| echo $(($(find -maxdepth 1 -mindepth 1 -type f -printf '%k+' ; echo 0)))KiB

I was wondering what would happen if the size got to be "too big".
The world has a habit of not planning for growth.

It appears as if BASH uses 64-bit evaluation, so there appears to be
no immediate danger.

Too bad that BASH silently accepts overflow of these fixed-width
integers.  A further problem is the manual makes no promise concerning
the width of these intermediate results.

Using a pipe to bc or dc has a couple of advantages:

- there surely would not be a size limit, even in the future

- a pipe is unbounded but a command line probably is not.  This
  matters if there are a *lot* of files.
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