Avoiding Common Mistakes

This section is in here for 2 reasons. It will save you a LOT of trouble, and it's my biggest bash related pet peeve.

When people are learning bash they often want to iterate over a list of files in a directory, so they take this approach:

for file in $(ls); do
    echo "$file"

The problem is that this will fail if a file has a space in its name or a newline character (this is possible!). The correct way to do this is to used a bash extension called a glob. A glob is like a wildcard

for file in *; do
    echo "$file"

This approach will properly delimit file names.

More information about that can be found here http://mywiki.wooledge.org/ParsingLs

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