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Old 09-12-2006, 11:00 PM   #1
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problematic file name


I downloaded a file with a name starting with a hyphen,
and I am having a whole lot of problem dealing with it
because every command I used with it wanted to treat it
as some kind of flag. Eventually, I used Konqueror to
rename it, but the whole experience made me wonder if it
is possible to work with such a filename in a shell.

Old 09-12-2006, 11:21 PM   #2
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One easy way is to add a leading "./".
Some commands have an "-f" switch that means a filename follows.
Some commands accept "--" (two dashes) as a switch to mean that no more switches follow.
If the remainder of the filename is fairly unique, you may be able to replace the '-' with a '?'.
Old 09-12-2006, 11:22 PM   #3
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Just guessing: Enclose it in quotes, or put a \ right in front of the -
Old 09-12-2006, 11:23 PM   #4
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The best way is simply to use ./-filename, as KenJackson said. Stumped me for a while too.
Old 09-12-2006, 11:34 PM   #5
Wim Sturkenboom
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If you have a look at the man pages for i.e. rm and mv, the option list can be terminated by '--'.
So mv -- -xxx.txt yyy.txt will move the file -xxx.txt to yyy.txt without problems.

[edit]bit slow[/edit]

Last edited by Wim Sturkenboom; 09-12-2006 at 11:36 PM.
Old 09-13-2006, 09:58 PM   #6
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Thanks for all your help.

And fyi, quotes and \ would not work because they just protect the string from the shell, and
do not modify how the program, be it mv or rm, would parse the name.


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