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5.23. Don't Quote Arguments to xterm -e

Being a belt-and-suspenders kind of guy, I've gotten in the habit of quoting arguments to commands. This makes good sense with lots of Unix shell commands, but it can get you in trouble with xterm -e. For example, I wanted to set up a job that would open vi in a window to edit a file named .postit. At first, I used the command:

xterm ... -e 'vi .postit' &

only to receive the perplexing message in the resulting window:

Can't execvp vi .postit

The quotes passed the entire string to xterm as an argument, which parsed it as a single command name, rather than a command plus argument. Removing the quotes solved the problem.

--TOR and SJC

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