Why does `tail -F` not handle dead symlinks gracefully in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4?

Solution Verified - Updated -

Issue

  • The version of tail that is shipped with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 appears to be mishandling dead symlinks.
  • tail -F current-log prints tail: cannot watch 'current-log': No such file or directory under the following sequence:

1. Open a terminal and run the following commands:

# touch mylog-1
# ln -s mylog-1 current-log

2. In a separate terminal, execute:

# tail -F current-log

3. Return to the first terminal and run these:

# echo content >> mylog-1;
# rm -f current-log
# ln -s mylog-2 current-log
#echo content >> mylog-2
  • tail -F running in the second terminal prints the error when ln -s mylog-2 current-log is executed and stops tracking current-log.
  • Why does tail -F not handle dead symlinks gracefully in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4?

Environment

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4
  • coreutils-8.4-19.el6.x86_64

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