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Old 06-16-2004, 02:31 AM   #1
wipe
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Registered: Jun 2004
Location: High Green
Distribution: Fedora Core 4
Posts: 180

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Automatic special character escaping in Bash scripts?


Hi

I would like to basically do the opposite of "echo -e" or "echo $'stuff'". That is, instead of interpreting the escaped special C-like sequences, such as \n, my Bash script would print the supplied string with everything special and non-printable in the backslash-escaped form.

It surprises me that this kind of functionality doesn't seem to be implemented as (or in) a normal utility like echo. Programs like ls seem to use such routines (--quoting-style argument). The task is probably easy with Perl, Python or some such language, but it seems a bit overkill and I'd like to do it in a shell script. If I were to make the function myself, I would have to be able to turn characters into octal sequences.

Cheers
Simon
 
Old 06-05-2009, 06:41 PM   #2
dash9
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Mar 2009
Posts: 6

Rep: Reputation: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by wipe View Post
Hi

I would like to basically do the opposite of "echo -e" or "echo $'stuff'". That is, instead of interpreting the escaped special C-like sequences, such as \n, my Bash script would print the supplied string with everything special and non-printable in the backslash-escaped form.

It surprises me that this kind of functionality doesn't seem to be implemented as (or in) a normal utility like echo. Programs like ls seem to use such routines (--quoting-style argument). The task is probably easy with Perl, Python or some such language, but it seems a bit overkill and I'd like to do it in a shell script. If I were to make the function myself, I would have to be able to turn characters into octal sequences.

Cheers
Simon
I think printf does what you want:
Code:
$ x="a
b"

$ printf '%q\n' "$x"
$'a\nb'

$ echo $'a\nb'
a
b
 
  


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