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I'd like

$ echo a{b,c,d}

to output a comma-separated list like


instead of the usual output

ab ac ad

What's the easiest way to do that on the command line?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Assuming that the elements do not contain spaces, you could translate spaces to commas:

echo a{b,c,d} | tr ' ' ,

which produces:


You can also use ranges with characters:

echo a{b..d} | tr ' ' ,

This is especially useful if you want a larger range.

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It seems bash does not use $IFS to join the generated words. Another technique would be to store the generated words in an array and then $IFS will be in play:

I'm going to use a subshell so I don't alter this shell's IFS: pick one of

( words=( a{b,c,d} ); IFS=,; echo "${words[*]}" )
( set -- a{b,c,d}; IFS=,; echo "$*" )

That emits the comma-separates string to stdout. If you want to capture it:

joined=$( set -- a{b,c,d}; IFS=,; echo "$*" )
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I am sure there are many ways to accomplish this. Here is one method:

echo a{b,c,d} | sed 's/ /,/g'
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