Follow Techotopia on Twitter

On-line Guides
All Guides
eBook Store
iOS / Android
Linux for Beginners
Office Productivity
Linux Installation
Linux Security
Linux Utilities
Linux Virtualization
Linux Kernel
System/Network Admin
Programming
Scripting Languages
Development Tools
Web Development
GUI Toolkits/Desktop
Databases
Mail Systems
openSolaris
Eclipse Documentation
Techotopia.com
Virtuatopia.com

How To Guides
Virtualization
General System Admin
Linux Security
Linux Filesystems
Web Servers
Graphics & Desktop
PC Hardware
Windows
Problem Solutions

  




 

 

Chapter 5. Quoting

Table of Contents
5.1. Quoting Variables
5.2. Escaping

Quoting means just that, bracketing a string in quotes. This has the effect of protecting special characters in the string from reinterpretation or expansion by the shell or shell script. (A character is "special" if it has an interpretation other than its literal meaning, such as the wild card character -- *.)

bash$ ls -l [Vv]*
-rw-rw-r--    1 bozo  bozo       324 Apr  2 15:05 VIEWDATA.BAT
 -rw-rw-r--    1 bozo  bozo       507 May  4 14:25 vartrace.sh
 -rw-rw-r--    1 bozo  bozo       539 Apr 14 17:11 viewdata.sh

bash$ ls -l '[Vv]*'
ls: [Vv]*: No such file or directory

Certain programs and utilities reinterpret or expand special characters in a quoted string. An important use of quoting is protecting a command-line parameter from the shell, but still letting the calling program expand it.

bash$ grep '[Ff]irst' *.txt
file1.txt:This is the first line of file1.txt.
 file2.txt:This is the First line of file2.txt.

Note that the unquoted grep [Ff]irst *.txt works under the Bash shell. [1]

Quoting can also suppress echo's "appetite" for newlines.

bash$ echo $(ls -l)
total 8 -rw-rw-r-- 1 bozo bozo 130 Aug 21 12:57 t222.sh -rw-rw-r-- 1 bozo bozo 78 Aug 21 12:57 t71.sh


bash$ echo "$(ls -l)"
total 8
 -rw-rw-r--  1 bozo bozo 130 Aug 21 12:57 t222.sh
 -rw-rw-r--  1 bozo bozo  78 Aug 21 12:57 t71.sh

Notes

[1]

Unless there is a file named first in the current working directory. Yet another reason to quote. (Thank you, Harald Koenig, for pointing this out.

 
 
  Published under the terms of the GNU General Public License Design by Interspire