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Bug#750158: general: cp -a does not respect file attributes

Package: general
Severity: serious
Justification: ?.?.?

Dear Maintainer,

   * What led up to the situation?
I installed a new bigger drive (array of 4 disks in raid5) and installed Debian
7.5 on this new drive. Then I wanted to copy files from the old drives that had
been running under Debian 6.0 to the new drive without compromizing new
configuration files that may be around in the new home directories.

   * What exactly did you do (or not do) that was effective (or ineffective)?
Therefore, as root, I issued the command "cp -anr <source-homedir> <target-

   * What was the outcome of this action?
All files were copied but the file attributes of the source-files were not
kept, all copied files belong now to root and permission-flags were reset to
the defaults of the root user.

   * What outcome did you expect instead?
I exspected that file attributes of the source-files are kept, notably
user,group and permission-flags as describet in the man-page for cp option -a.

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-- System Information:
Debian Release: 7.5
  APT prefers stable-updates
  APT policy: (500, 'stable-updates'), (500, 'stable')
Architecture: i386 (i686)

Kernel: Linux 3.2.0-4-686-pae (SMP w/2 CPU cores)
Locale: LANG=de_DE.UTF-8, LC_CTYPE=de_DE.UTF-8 (charmap=UTF-8)
Shell: /bin/sh linked to /bin/dash

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