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Old 11-15-2006, 01:39 PM   #1
Registered: Nov 2006
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What is this strange directory

I am a systems tech somewhat familiar with Linux, however I have come across a odd directory that behaves quite strangely.

This is a Solaris system and there is a directory with this format:


When I try to change to the directory as a root user, I get this:

[1] 1089570
[2] 868412
[1] - Done cd &SAVEDLISTS&
# ksh: SAVEDLISTS: not found.

What kind of directory has these ampersands before and after and what is this output I am getting?
Old 11-15-2006, 02:09 PM   #2
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Location: Utah
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Universe database's typically have a file not a directory by the name &SAVEDLISTS&.
Old 11-15-2006, 02:56 PM   #3
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And, of course, you have to "escape" the ampersands to get the shell use them as text instead of a "spawn" directive.
Old 11-15-2006, 02:57 PM   #4
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Looks like this was created either by mistake by a user or by a program with a bug in it (I'd guess some SQL script which uses variable expansion with the '&variablename' syntax that SQL*PLUS uses, but the expansion didn't happen for some reason).

Anyhow, to the shell, the & character is a special one which tells the shell to put the command which comes before it into the background (using shell job control).

You can tell the shell not to interpret the & character in this way by quoting your argument to cd (or whatever command you are trying to execute):


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