B19.1 Long pause occurs randomly in bash

Christopher G. Faylor cgf@cygnus.com
Sat Sep 5 00:23:00 GMT 1998

In article <35EDF1FA.D6CD6DA2.cygnus.gnu-win32@auss.sop.dec.com>,
Jim Clark <clarkj@auss.sop.dec.com> wrote:
>From the FAQ for 19.1:
>Long pause occurs randomly in bash
>   It has been reported that bash will hang for several seconds upon
>occasion.  We are looking into this problem.  It does not seem to occur
>when bash is started under a command prompt.  Reportedly, if you
>specify the 'Start in' directory in the shortcut, the problem goes away.
>If I set the 'Start in' directory in the shortcut for bash to either
>"C:\" or "/", I will get long pauses (not so randomly) in bash.
>If I set the 'Start in' directory in the shortcut properties to any
>other directory (eg, "/home"), the problem seems to go away.

It's a bug in bash.  If you don't have a HOME environment variable set
or if you don't have a /etc/passwd file, your HOME will be assumed to be
the current directory ('/').  Bash prepends the HOME path to /.bashrc,
making //.bashrc.  Windows interprets that as a machine name which it
attempts to resolve, hence the delay.  Bash behaves similarly when
trying to find any mail file.  It constructs something like //username
and attempts to stat it at MAIL_CHECK intervals.

The solution is to rebuild bash with the patches I posted several days
ago.  Some workarounds are:  1) set the HOME environment variable, 2)
set up a valid /etc/passwd file, 3) start in some directory besides the
root, or 4) unset MAILCHECK.
cgf@cygnus.com             "Everything has a boolean value, if you stand
http://www.cygnus.com/      far enough away from it."  -- Galena Alyson Canada
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