xargs: Why does order of command line switches matter?

Adam Dinwoodie Adam.Dinwoodie@metaswitch.com
Wed Apr 25 13:04:00 GMT 2012

Eliot Moss wrote:
> On 4/25/2012 6:29 AM, Ronald Fischer wrote:
> > Why do I get a different output in the following two invocations of
> > xargs? I had expected that the relative order of the command line
> > switches (-I, -L) would not matter:
> >
> > $ ls | xargs -I DIR -L 1 echo DIR
> > DIR wontprint.txt
> > DIR x.cmd
> > DIR x.pl
> > DIR x.sh
> > $ ls | xargs -L 1 -I DIR echo DIR
> > wontprint.txt
> > x.cmd
> > x.pl
> > x.sh
> My guess is that this behavior is passed on from the upstream
> implementation and is not specific to cygwin, which means that
> the appeal for a change would probably need to be lodged
> elsewhere ...

I've just verified that this behaviour exists on Red Hat Enterprise
Linux 6.2, so this is not a Cygwin problem.

I suspect you'll want to raise this on the findutils mailing list; from
the bottom of `man xargs`:

> The best way to report a bug is to use the form at
> http://savannah.gnu.org/bugs/?group=findutils. The reason for this is
> that you will then be able to track progress in fixing the problem.
> Other comments about xargs(1) and about the findutils package in
> general can be sent to the bug-findutils mailing list. To join the
> list, send email to bug-findutils-request@gnu.org.

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