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How can I use a logical AND/OR/NOT in a shell pattern (glob)?

"Globs" are simple patterns that can be used to match filenames or strings. They're generally not very powerful. If you need more power, there are a few options available.

If you want to operate on all the files that match glob A or glob B, just put them both on the same command line:

rm -- *.bak *.old

If you want to use a logical OR in just part of a glob (larger than a single charcter -- for which square-bracketed character classes suffice), in Bash, you can use BraceExpansion:

rm -- *.{bak,old}

If you need something still more general/powerful, in KornShell or BASH you can use extended globs. In Bash, you'll need the extglob option to be set. It can be checked with:

shopt extglob

and set with:

shopt -s extglob

To warm up, we'll move all files starting with foo AND not ending with .d to directory foo_thursday.d:

mv foo!(*.d) foo_thursday.d

A more complex example -- delete all files containing Pink_Floyd AND not containing The_Final_Cut:

rm !(!(*Pink_Floyd*)|*The_Final_Cut*)

By the way: these kind of patterns can be used with the KornShell, too. They don't have to be enabled there, but are the default patterns.


2012-07-01 04:05