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Functions

loop over a set of items that contain spaces

Terminal - loop over a set of items that contain spaces
ls | while read ITEM; do echo "$ITEM"; done
2009-03-22 23:33:13
User: fletch
Functions: echo ls read
10
loop over a set of items that contain spaces

If you want to operate on a set of items in Bash, and at least one of them contains spaces, the `for` loop isn't going to work the way you might expect. For example, if the current dir has two files, named "file" and "file 2", this would loop 3 times (once each for "file", "file", and "2"):

for ITEM in `ls`; do echo "$ITEM"; done

Instead, use a while loop with `read`:

ls | while read ITEM; do echo "$ITEM"; done

Alternatives

There are 8 alternatives - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives

Know a better way?

If you can do better, submit your command here.

What others think

I think I might prefer:

find . -maxdepth 1 -exec {} \;

You don't even have to worry about the quote. "find" takes care of it for you.

However, if I wanted to perform multiple operations on one set of items, I would definitely use this method you suggested.

Comment by goodevilgenius 291 weeks ago

@fletch: As you said, the following does not work:

for FILE in `ls`; do echo "$FILE"; done

But the following will work:

for FILE in *; do echo "$FILE"; done

However, I also acknowledge that your way works.

Comment by haivu 291 weeks ago

Grr why is this being upmodded? Unixmonkey1878's method is the right way to do this. ls is for presenting a directory listing to humans, that's it!

Comment by pixelbeat 290 weeks and 6 days ago

You're all correct, there are other ways to do that particular example. Your methods only work for a list of files though, and the intent was to show a way to iterate over a any list of items that have spaces. `ls` could have been any command.

Comment by fletch 290 weeks and 6 days ago

Your point of view

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