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Old 07-28-2007, 12:48 PM   #1
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basic command functionality

I'd seriously google this but I have no clue what to search for...

Is there a way to run a command within a command? Something like "mplayer (locate mp3)" or "kill -9 (pgrep firefox)"

If so, what is the syntax?

Thank you for your time!
Old 07-28-2007, 12:57 PM   #2
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Yeah, you can use backticks: mplayer `locate *.mp3`.
Old 07-28-2007, 01:02 PM   #3
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Yes. It's called command substitution. You can read about it in the man page of your favorite shell.

I believe most (if not all) shells can do it, but I only know the syntax for bash. Using your own example, the following will work:

kill -9 `pgrep firefox`
kill -9 $(pgrep firefox)
kill -9 "$(pgrep firefox)"
bash has the $( ) syntax which is much better than the back tics ` ` since it can be nested or placed within quotes.

You may also want to check out the command xargs. It would probably work best for your first example:

 locate mp3 | xargs -d'\n' mplayer
EDIT: First example used to say killall instead of kill.

Last edited by zhangmaike; 07-28-2007 at 01:42 PM.
Old 07-28-2007, 01:02 PM   #4
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wow! quick response!

Thanks, that was exactly what I was looking for!
Old 07-28-2007, 01:39 PM   #5
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FYI, killall takes a process name as argument, so you could just do "killall firefox".
Old 07-28-2007, 01:41 PM   #6
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Oops... I knew that.

What an embarrassing typo.


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