[lug] Changing files on-the-fly - No consensus here

Zan Lynx zlynx at acm.org
Wed Sep 17 13:41:12 MDT 2003

On Tue, 2003-09-16 at 11:17, Paul E Condon wrote:
> Try this:
> cat numbers.txt | egrep -v three >numbers.txt
> Of course there really IS a temp file in the pipe, but you don't have
> to create it explicitly

No!  Don't do this!
A pipe is not a temporary file.  It is a 4K piece of memory.  If
numbers.txt is larger than 4K, or if your system is dual processor, this
pipe will erase numbers.txt while it is being read.
Zan Lynx <zlynx at acm.org>
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