bash: Field Separator Variable

Written by Benjamin Cane on 2011-09-20 20:01:05

By default when using a for loop in bash the field separator is set to a space.

Example:

[[email protected] ~]$ for x in list:like:this; do echo $x; done  
list:like:this

One of the cool things about bash is that you can change this by setting a simple variable $IFS

[[email protected] ~]$ IFS=":"  
[[email protected] ~]$ for x in list:like:this; do echo $x; done  
list like this

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Benjamin is a Systems Architect working in the financial services industry focused on platforms that require Continuous Availability. He has been working with Linux and Unix for over 10 years now and has recently published his first book; Red Hat Enterprise Linux Troubleshooting Guide.

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