Test (Unix)

Test (Unix)

test is a Unix command that evaluates conditional expressions.

yntax

test "expression"or [ "expression" ]

Description

The test command evaluates the expression parameter. In the second form of the command, the [ ] (brackets) must be surrounded by blank spaces. You must test explicitly for file names in the C shell. File-name substitution (globbing) causes the shell script to exit. Functions and operators are treated as separate parameters by the test command. The expression parameter refers to a statement that is checked for a true or false condition.

Functions

The following functions are used to construct this parameter:

-b Filename - Returns a True exit value if the specified FileName exists and is a block special file.

Note: All remaining functions return true if the object (file or string) exists, and the condition specified is true. -c FileName - FileName is a character special file. -d FileName - FileName is a directory. -e FileName - FileName exists. -f FileName - FileName is a regular file. -g FileName - FileName's Set Group ID bit is set. -h FileName - FileName is a symbolic link. -k FileName - FileName's sticky bit is set. -L FileName - FileName is a symbolic link. -p FileName - FileName is a named pipe (FIFO). -r FileName - FileName is readable by the current process. -s FileName - FileName has a size greater than 0. -t FileDescriptor - FileDescriptor is open and associated with a terminal. -u FileName - FileName's Set User ID bit is set.

-w FileName - FileName's write flag is on. However, the FileName will not be writable on a read-only file system even if test indicates true.

-x FileName - FileName's execute flag is on. If the specified file exists and is a directory, the True exit value indicates that the current process has permission to change (chdir) into the directory.

file1 -nt file2 - file1 is newer than file2. file1 -ot file2 - file1 is older than file2. file1 -ef file2 - file1 is another name for file2. (symbolic link or hard link)

tring functions

-n String1 - the length of the String1 variable is nonzero. -z String1 - the length of the String1 variable is 0 (zero). String1 = String2 - String1 and String2 variables are identical. String1 != String2 - String1 and String2 variables are not identical. String1 - String1 variable is not a null string.

Number functions

Integer1 -eq Integer2 - Integer1 and Integer2 variables are algebraically equal. Any of the following comparisons can be used in place of -eq. -ne (not equal) -gt (greater than) -ge (greater or equal) -lt (less than) -le (less or equal)

Operators

These functions can be combined with the following operators: ! - Unary negation operator -a - Binary AND operator -o - Binary OR operator (the -a operator has higher precedence than the -o operator) (Expression) - Parentheses for grouping must be escaped with a backslash ().

The -a and -o operators, along with parentheses for grouping, are XSI extensions [ [http://www.opengroup.org/onlinepubs/009695399/utilities/test.html IEEE Std 1003.1, 2004, documentation for test] ] and are therefore not portable. In portable shell scripts, the same effect may be achieved by connecting multiple invocations of test together with the && and || operators and parentheses.

Exit Status

This command returns the following exit values:

0 - The Expression parameter is true. 1 - The Expression parameter is false or missing. >1 - An error occurred.

Examples

1. To test whether a file is nonexistent or empty, type:

if test ! -s "$1" then echo $1 does not exist or is empty. fi

If the file specified by the first positional parameter to the shell procedure, $1, does not exist, the test command displays an error message. If $1 exists and has a size greater than 0, the test command displays nothing.

Note: There must be a space between the -s function and the file name.

The quotation marks around $1 ensure that the test works properly even if the value of $1 is a null string. If the quotation marks are omitted and $1 is the empty string, the test command displays the error message

test: argument expected.

2. To do a complex comparison, type:

if [ $# -lt 2 -o ! -e "$1" ] then exit fi

If the shell procedure is given fewer than two positional parameters or the file specified by $1 does not exist, then the shell procedure exits. The special shell variable $# represents the number of positional parameters entered on the command line that starts this shell procedure.

External links

ee also

*List of Unix programs
*The bash command
*The csh command
*The find command
*The ksh command
*The sh command
*The zsh command


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