[erlang-bugs] Copying a file to itself

Bengt Kleberg <>
Fri Feb 29 10:46:09 CET 2008


This old unix warning might be a source of inspiration for the

          Beware of `cat a b >a' and `cat a b >b', which destroy input
          files before reading them.


On Fri, 2008-02-29 at 10:31 +0100, John Hughes wrote:
> Calling file:copy(Name,Name) to copy a file to itself truncates the
> file to 0 bytes. I’m not sure if this is a bug, but it isn’t what I
> expected—even after reading the documentation. Perhaps either
> file:copy should return an error in this case, or the documentation
> should mention this behaviour explicitly.
> John Hughes
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