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Tried all sorts of ways to redirect both stdout and stderr to /dev/null without any success. I have almost my entire life run bash which i've never had this issue with but for once in BSD i'm stuck with /bin/sh.

What i've tried:

if ls ./python* 2> /dev/null; then
    echo found Python

Which works, if Python is not present it will mute the error messages from ls. However, if python.tgz is present a line with be outputted which looks like this:

# ./test.sh

And i've tried:

if ls ./python* &> /dev/null; then
    echo found Python


if ls ./python* 2>1 > /dev/null; then
    echo found Python


if ls ./python* > /dev/null; then
    echo found Python

Nothing really works. I can only redirect one of the outputs, not both at the same time.

share|improve this question
up vote 37 down vote accepted

I believe what you are looking for is:

ls good bad >/dev/null 2>&1

You have to redirect stdout first before duplicating it into stderr; if you duplicate it first, stderr will just point to what stdout originally pointed at.

In bash you can do this with &>/dev/null but that's a bash extension.

share|improve this answer
Indeed, i read the bourn shell manual. It stated that later versions of /bin/sh have implemented the &>/dev/null syntax, aparently not so or i have a older version (which i can't echo in any way, running OpenBSD 5.3 tho so should be sufficient) – Torxed Jun 25 '13 at 19:29
@Torxed, OpenBSD's sh is based on pdksh. There's no more Bourne shell nowadays. csh introduced >& also available in zsh. bash chose &> (now also supported by zsh and some pdksh derivatives) though it clearly breaks POSIX compliance since foo &> file is perfectly valid POSIX syntax which means something completely different. – Stéphane Chazelas Jun 25 '13 at 19:42
Thank you for clearing that out! – Torxed Jun 25 '13 at 20:51
@PiotrDobrogost, foo &> file is like foo & > file or foo & : > file, that is run foo in background and open file for writing for no command at all (unlikely to be used like that). – Stéphane Chazelas Dec 9 '14 at 13:59
@PiotrDobrogost, >& is not ideal either as it conflicts with the >&2, >&- operators. zsh added it for convenience for csh users (csh doesn't have >&2). They're just syntactic sugar, just use > file 2>&1 which is standard and portable (to Bourne-like shells). – Stéphane Chazelas Dec 9 '14 at 14:26

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