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Published by: Joan Fusté on Jun 28, 2013
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Conditional expressions are used by the [[ compound command and the test and [ builtin

commands.

Expressions may be unary or binary. Unary expressions are often used to examine the

status of a fle. There are string operators and numeric comparison operators as well. If the

fle argument to one of the primaries is of the form ‘/dev/fd/N’, then fle descriptor N is

checked. If the fle argument to one of the primaries is one of ‘/dev/stdin’, ‘/dev/stdout’,

or ‘/dev/stderr’, fle descriptor 0, 1, or 2, respectively, is checked.

When used with ‘[[’, The ‘<’ and ‘>’ operators sort lexicographically using the current

locale.

Unless otherwise specifed, primaries that operate on fles follow symbolic links and

operate on the target of the link, rather than the link itself.

-a file True if fle exists.

Chapter 6: Bash Features

77

-b file True if fle exists and is a block special fle.

-c file True if fle exists and is a character special fle.

-d file True if fle exists and is a directory.

-e file True if fle exists.

-f file True if fle exists and is a regular fle.

-g file True if fle exists and its set-group-id bit is set.

-h file True if fle exists and is a symbolic link.

-k file True if fle exists and its "sticky" bit is set.

-p file True if fle exists and is a named pipe (FIFO).

-r file True if fle exists and is readable.

-s file True if fle exists and has a size greater than zero.

-t fd True if fle descriptor fd is open and refers to a terminal.

-u file True if fle exists and its set-user-id bit is set.

-w file True if fle exists and is writable.

-x file True if fle exists and is executable.

-O file True if fle exists and is owned by the efective user id.

-G file True if fle exists and is owned by the efective group id.

-L file True if fle exists and is a symbolic link.

-S file True if fle exists and is a socket.

-N file True if fle exists and has been modifed since it was last read.

file1 -nt file2

True if fle1 is newer (according to modifcation date) than fle2, or if fle1 exists

and fle2 does not.

file1 -ot file2

True if fle1 is older than fle2, or if fle2 exists and fle1 does not.

file1 -ef file2

True if fle1 and fle2 refer to the same device and inode numbers.

-o optname

True if shell option optname is enabled. The list of options appears in the

description of the ‘-o’ option to the set builtin (see Section 4.3.1 [The Set

Builtin], page 51).

-z string True if the length of string is zero.

-n string

string True if the length of string is non-zero.

78

Bash Reference Manual

string1 == string2

string1 = string2

True if the strings are equal. ‘=’ should be used with the test command for

posix conformance.

string1 != string2

True if the strings are not equal.

string1 < string2

True if string1 sorts before string2 lexicographically.

string1 > string2

True if string1 sorts after string2 lexicographically.

arg1 OP arg2

OP is one of ‘-eq’, ‘-ne’, ‘-lt’, ‘-le’, ‘-gt’, or ‘-ge’. These arithmetic binary

operators return true if arg1 is equal to, not equal to, less than, less than or

equal to, greater than, or greater than or equal to arg2, respectively. Arg1 and

arg2 may be positive or negative integers.

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