Surviving bash

The flagship product of modern unix is certainly better than any other 80s shell

August 10, 2018 — October 19, 2018

computers are awful

General, not macOS-specific or Linux-specific, and see also shells to yak-shave your way into whole other shell paradigms. Or fish for a less awful user experience.

I just don’t care enough to remember. This makes me a Bad Hacker.

1 Command line tips

See command lines which are mostly bash specific because everything is hard in bash.

2 bash history

3 Vars, expansions, filenames, whitespace hell

3.1 Tilde expansion

Tilde expansion is complicated. Best to avoid tildes and use ${HOME}.

3.2 files extension munging in bash

for file in *.html;
    mv "$file" "`basename $file .html`.txt";


mv "$file" "${file%.html}.txt"

Don’t forget the quotes, or it will explode when you have spaces in your filenames and delete stuff that you loved. (I hate bash so hard. I should probably abandon it.)

4 For loops

Watch out for horrible problems with handling of delimeters. Anyway, for loops are not insane.


for i in $( ls ); do
    echo item: $i

5 Init file madness

Weird bash syntax errors about ‘end of file’.