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Man Pages


Manual Reference Pages  -  SHELL-QUOTE (1)

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NAME

shell-quote - quote arguments for safe use, unmodified in a shell command

CONTENTS

SYNOPSIS

<B>shell-quoteB> [switch]... arg...

DESCRIPTION

<B>shell-quoteB> lets you pass arbitrary strings through the shell so that they won’t be changed by the shell. This lets you process commands or files with embedded white space or shell globbing characters safely. Here are a few examples.

EXAMPLES

<B>ssh preserving argsB> When running a remote command with ssh, ssh doesn’t preserve the separate arguments it receives. It just joins them with spaces and passes them to $SHELL -c. This doesn’t work as intended:



    ssh host touch hi there           # fails



It creates 2 files, hi and there. Instead, do this:



    cmd=`shell-quote touch hi there`
    ssh host "$cmd"



This gives you just 1 file, hi there.

<B>process find outputB> It’s not ordinarily possible to process an arbitrary list of files output by <B>findB> with a shell script. Anything you put in $IFS to split up the output could legitimately be in a file’s name. Here’s how you can do it using <B>shell-quoteB>:



    eval set -- `find -type f -print0 | xargs -0 shell-quote --`



<B>debug shell scriptsB> <B>shell-quoteB> is better than <B>echoB> for debugging shell scripts.



    debug() {
        [ -z "$debug" ] || shell-quote "debug:" "$@"
    }



With <B>echoB> you can’t tell the difference between debug foo bar and debug foo bar, but with <B>shell-quoteB> you can.

<B>save a command for laterB> <B>shell-quoteB> can be used to build up a shell command to run later. Say you want the user to be able to give you switches for a command you’re going to run. If you don’t want the switches to be re-evaluated by the shell (which is usually a good idea, else there are things the user can’t pass through), you can do something like this:



    user_switches=
    while [ $# != 0 ]
    do
        case x$1 in
            x--pass-through)
                [ $# -gt 1 ] || die "need an argument for $1"
                user_switches="$user_switches "`shell-quote -- "$2"`
                shift;;
            # process other switches
        esac
        shift
    done
    # later
    eval "shell-quote some-command $user_switches my args"



OPTIONS

<B>--debugB> Turn debugging on.
<B>--helpB> Show the usage message and die.
<B>--versionB> Show the version number and exit.

AVAILABILITY

The code is licensed under the GNU GPL. Check http://www.argon.org/~roderick/ or CPAN for updated versions.

AUTHOR

Roderick Schertler <roderick@argon.org>
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perl v5.20.3 SHELL-QUOTE (1) 2010-06-11

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