Re: ftp/rcp can't copy devices

Chris Torek (
30 Aug 88 00:05:08 GMT

In article <In article <779@philmds.UUCP> In article <779@philmds.UUCP> hulsebos@philmds.UUCP (Rob Hulsebos) writes:
>When I use the 'ftp' or 'rcp' command, and want to copy a disk-partition
>(accessed via /dev/rdsk/*) to the other end, both utilities
>complain: "not a plain file".
>Of course, the manual doesn't mention that only plain files can be
>transferred. Does anybody know why ftp and rcp behave this way?

Both attempt to determine the size of the file before sending it.
(Only rcp's protocol actually requires this.) There is no way to
find the size of a special file without reading it, and in the process
the data may vanish (e.g., reading /dev/tty or a socket).

In-Real-Life: Chris Torek, Univ	of MD Comp Sci Dept (+1	301 454	7163)
Domain:	Path:	uunet!mimsy!chris

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