Andrew McGill on Mon, 10 Nov 2008 16:29:57 +0200 (SAST)

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[GLUG-tech] The case of the missing lines from xargs --max-procs .. md5sum

Dear Glug,

What would you expect this to do --:

    find -type f -print0 | 
	xargs -0 -n 8 --max-procs=16 md5sum >& ~/md5sums

    sort -k2 < md5sums > md5sums.sorted

Compared to this?

    find -type f -print0 | 
	xargs -0                     md5sum >& ~/md5sums

    sort -k2 < md5sums > md5sums.sorted

I was a little surprised that on my system running in parallel (the first 
version) loses around 1 line of output per thousand (~22Gb in mostly small 

Is there a correct way to do md5sums in parallel without having a shared 
output buffer which eats output (I presume) -- or is losing output when 
haphazardly combining output streams actually strange and unusual?

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