A Peek at Metacharacters

Metacharacters are special characters that have particular meaning to your shell that dollar sign or hash mark. The two I want to look at are the asterisk and the question mark. The following shows what they mean to the shell.


Match any number of characters


Match a single character

Extending our talk of listing files, you could list all files containing ackle by using this command:

 $ ls *ackle* hackle hackles      tackles 

Similarly, you could find all the words that start with an h like this:

 $ ls h* hackle  hackles 

Now, if you want to see all the seven-letter words in your directory, use this command:

 $ ls ??????? hackles  tackles 

Each question mark represents a single letter position.

Moving to Linux(c) Kiss the Blue Screen of Death Goodbye!
Moving to Linux: Kiss the Blue Screen of Death Goodbye!
ISBN: 0321159985
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 181

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