If you want to match all files in a directory whose names do not start
with a dot (
), it's easy: just use an asterisk (
But what about files that
start with a dot?
That's harder because dot-asterisk (
) matches the directory links
that are in every directory; you
usually won't want to match those.
The Korn and some Bourne shells, as well as
, let you use the
to match all dot files, where
means "anything but a dot."
Otherwise, what can you do?
You can use
, which matches all filenames that start with a
dot and have at least two characters, but that doesn't match filenames
with just one character after the dot.
Here's the answer:
That expression matches all filenames whose second character is in the
ASCII chart (
but isn't a dot or a slash (
The range starts with CTRL-a
is an actual CTRL-a character,
the two characters
) and runs through a dash (
Then it covers the range from zero (
) through DEL or
(make by pressing your
key; you may have to type
or a backslash (
Yuck - that's sort of complicated.
To make it easy, I set that sequence in a shell variable named
shell setup file (
Here are three versions; the third is for shells whose built-in
set dots=".[`echo Y-0-Z | tr YZ \\001\\177`]"
dots=".[`echo Y-0-Z | tr YZ \\001\\177`]*"
sh with old echo
turns the expression
into the range with CTRL-a and DEL that we want.
That keeps ugly, unprintable characters out of the
So, for example,
I could move all files out of the current directory to
another directory by typing:
mv * $dots