sophie: A cartoon-like representation of a girl standing on a hill, with brown hair, blue eyes, a flowery top, and blue skirt. ☀ (Default)
[personal profile] sophie posting in [community profile] command_liners
Most people in here will probably know how to pipe output from one command to another:

command 1 | command2

However, what if command2 doesn't allow reading from standard input, and only supports filenames? How can you do this without writing to a file?

It turns out that you can do this in bash and ksh by using the <(command) syntax. For example, the above command can be written:

command2 <(command1)

This will execute command1 in a subshell, and at the same time, call command2 with a file descriptor looking something like /dev/fd/63. When command2 reads from that, it'll get the output of command1.

At first this doesn't seem too useful, but this means that you can do nifty things like this:

diff -u <(sort filea.txt) <(sort fileb.txt)

Which will sort filea.txt and fileb.txt, and then diff the outputs - all without writing a single file.

Note that if the subshells require user input, this isn't going to work, so you can't use this to capture user input and pass it to a script which would otherwise require a filename. However, as long as this isn't the case, everything should work smoothly.

[edit: Oh, and I should mention that, unlike piping, you can execute several commands in the subshell. For example:

rev <(echo wheeness; sleep 2; echo blarg)

This also demonstrates how both the subshell and the main process run simultaneously; the output is "sseneehw", followed by a delay of 2 seconds, followed by "gralb".]

[edit 2: See this comment for an example of how to run multiple commands via piping!]
From:
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
User
Account name:
Password:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
Subject:
HTML doesn't work in the subject.

Message:

 
Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.

Profile

command_liners: A command line prompt with a blinking cursor after it, green against black. (Default)
Command Liners

September 2014

S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
1415 1617181920
21222324252627
282930    

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 20th, 2017 10:00 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios