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Old 11-29-2015, 06:36 PM   #1
taylorkh
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Why does auto-complete in bash think a pdf file is a directory???


I do not recall when I discovered auto-complete in bash but it is now embedded in the muscle memory of my fingers That said, I have recently come across a rather strange behavior. bash starts with /home/ken as the working directory. The contents of the directory are as follows
Code:
[ken@taylor12 ~]$ ll

-rw-rw-r--. 1 ken ken   2824 Mar  9  2014 David Ford re. Keith Branch
-rw-r-----. 1 ken ken 521208 Oct 26 09:21 Declaration Pages.pdf
drwxr-xr-x. 2 ken ken  20480 Nov 29 15:22 Desktop
drwxr-xr-x. 2 ken ken   4096 Nov 25 11:45 Documents
drwxr-xr-x. 2 ken ken   4096 Nov 27 18:47 Downloads
drwxr-xr-x. 2 ken ken   4096 Oct 15 06:23 dwhelper
drwxr-xr-x. 2 ken ken   4096 Jun 25  2010 Enigmail Keys
-rw-rw-r--. 1 ken ken    857 Jun 28  2012 FOXUSER.DBF
-rw-rw-r--. 1 ken ken   4608 Jun 28  2012 FOXUSER.FPT
drwxr-xr-x. 2 ken ken   4096 Jun 24  2012 icons
drwxr-xr-x. 2 ken ken   4096 Jun 21  2012 Music
-rw-rw-r--. 1 ken ken 105691 May 19  2015 NCPUC Complaint.pdf
drwxr-xr-x. 2 ken ken   4096 Nov 29 08:17 pdf
drwxrwxr-x. 3 ken ken   4096 Sep 22 09:02 Pictures
-rw-rw-r--. 1 ken ken    851 Aug  3 08:00 Pills
drwxr-xr-x. 2 ken ken   4096 Jun 21  2012 Public
drwxr-x---. 2 ken ken   4096 Nov  2 13:49 scan
-rw-rw-r--. 1 ken ken     56 Sep 29 09:42 Scholarship Recipients
If I enter De[tab] I would expect Desktop to be the only matching directory. However, I see
Code:
[ken@taylor12 ~]$ cd De
Declaration Pages.pdf  Desktop/               
[ken@taylor12 ~]$ cd De
Declaration Pages.pdf is NOT a directory and cd will of course not change into it. A little experimenting... cd Sc[tab] produced
Code:
[ken@taylor12 ~]$ cd Scholarship\ Recipients 
bash: cd: Scholarship Recipients: Not a directory
[ken@taylor12 ~]$
In fact, any file name with an embedded space seems to be interpreted as a candidate for being a directory. Is this to me expected or have I uncovered a bug?

TIA,

Ken
 
Old 11-29-2015, 07:16 PM   #2
chrism01
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AFAIK, tab complete is just a string search on all 'files' in the dir, regardless of their 'type' ie the first char in the long listing.
Remember that in *nix, (almost) everything is treated as a file - sort of.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everything_is_a_file
 
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Old 11-29-2015, 07:37 PM   #3
Aia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorkh View Post
[...]
In fact, any file name with an embedded space seems to be interpreted as a candidate for being a directory. Is this to me expected or have I uncovered a bug?

TIA,

Ken
It is not a bug, it is the expected behavior. The built-in cd command is not playing any role there. The shell is giving you clues. If you were to enter cd space tab tab, the shell will display all the files available for choosing in the current directory. Heck, you can even enter a non-existent command, like: nono space tab tab and still, the shell will give you a hint of what's available in the directory.
 
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Old 11-29-2015, 07:37 PM   #4
berndbausch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrism01 View Post
AFAIK, tab complete is just a string search on all 'files' in the dir, regardless of their 'type' ie the first char in the long listing.
Remember that in *nix, (almost) everything is treated as a file - sort of.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Everything_is_a_file
The shell is smart enough, normally, to understand the context. For example, ./pro<TAB><TAB> will expand to ./program only if ./program is executable. Same for cd:
Code:
$ ls
bind       Desktop    Downloads   Pictures      rp        Templates
daapd.log  dhcp       index.html  Public        rp.c      Videos
daapdump   Documents  Music       python_games  smb.conf
$ cd d<TAB><TAB>
expands to dhcp/dhclient-e. Just tested on my trusted Raspberry Pi.

Sorry I have no answer for the OP. Perhaps one of the 100000 config settings of the shell changes its behaviour?

EDIT: The relevant part of the bash reference manual is http://www.gnu.org/software/bash/man...ble-Completion, perhaps some wisdom can be found there.

Last edited by berndbausch; 11-29-2015 at 07:41 PM.
 
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Old 11-29-2015, 08:42 PM   #5
taylorkh
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Registered: Jul 2006
Location: North Carolina
Distribution: CentOS 6, CentOS 7 (with Mate), Ubuntu 16.04 Mate
Posts: 1,389

Original Poster
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Thanks folks! I guess I was expecting to much of cd or the shell. I understand the error of my train of thought. I will dispose of the offending file "Declaration Pages.pdf" I only noticed the cd Desktop issue after I had created this temporary file as the result of scanning some insurance documents so that I could email them.

Regards,

Ken
 
  


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