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My .bashrc had some code that was repetitive so I used a function to simplify it

do_stuff() {
  local version=$1
  export FOO_${version}_X="17"
  export FOO_${version}_Y="42"

do_stuff '5.1'
do_stuff '5.2'

However, now when I use my shell the "do_stuff" name is in scope so I can tab-complete and run that function (potentially messing up my environment variables). Is there a way to make "do_stuff" visible only inside the .bashrc?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Use unset as last line in your .bashrc:

unset -f do_stuff

will delete/unset the function do_stuff.

To delete/unset the variables invoke it as follows:

unset variablename
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Is unset really the only way here? Well, I guess if I use a really long and ugly name for my function the chance of it clashing with something else won't be that big... –  hugomg Dec 11 '13 at 21:21
If that's the problem check frist if the function exists: if type do_stuff >/dev/null 2>&1; then echo "exists"; else echo "dont"; fi. –  chaos Dec 11 '13 at 21:30
This won't work if do_stuff is used inside another function. When you call that function, you will get bash: do_stuff: command not found. I know this isn't the exact case the op was talking about but it's worth pointing out. –  Burhan Ali Sep 23 '14 at 13:58

The other option is to use underscores like in other scripted languages to indicate you do not intend for this function to be public. The likelihood of you typing _do_foo is pretty small and also unlikely to conflict with anyone else.

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Yes, do use "_" to indicate intent to have a private function, but this has nothing to do with conflicts. Anyone can need "_debug()" or "_safe_copy()". If there is something that helps avoid conflicts, it has nothing to do with underscores. –  Alois Mahdal Mar 7 '14 at 13:49

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