Bug#567071: what is the purpose of fstab-decode

Dmitry Bogatov KAction at debian.org
Thu Feb 28 12:06:22 GMT 2019

control: reopen -1
control: tags -1 -fixed-upstream +upstream

[2019-02-21 15:08] Jesse Smith <jsmith at resonatingmedia.com>
> I agree, the manual page for fstab-decode is vague, at best. I will add
> a paragraph explaining what it does. The updated manual page will be
> included in sysvinit-2.94.

Maybe it is just me, but I still do not understand purpose of
fstab-decode, therefore reopening bug. Here is manual from 2.94 (by the
way, there is also fstab-decode.old somewhy in release tarball):

  fstab-decode decodes escapes (such as newline characters) in the speciā€
  fied ARGUMENTs and uses them to run  COMMAND.   The  argument  escaping
  uses  the  same  rules  as  path  escaping in /etc/fstab, /etc/mtab and

  In essence fstab-decode can be used anytime we want  to  pass  multiple
  parameters  to  a  command as a list of command line argments. It turns
  output like this:


  Into one long list of parameters, "/root /mnt/remote-disk /home". This
  can be useful when trying to work with multiple filesystems at once. For
  instance, we can use it to unmount multiple NFS shares.

  fstab-decode umount $(awk '$3 == "vfat" { print $2 }' /etc/fstab)

What exactly is decoded? Where should I read about escaping rules?
How it is different from plain `xargs'?
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