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After doing a bit more research I realised that this scenario is exactly what xargs is designed for: ./my-command args | cut -d : -f 5 | xargs cat Which will transform the output of stdin into an invocation of cat with an actual filename and thus print out the file contents


From your experiments, it appears that the vsim program wants its standard input to be connected to a terminal; if it isn't, it either does nothing useful (because it's waiting for input but not getting any) or exits. $ vsim $ sh -c vsim This runs the command normally from a terminal, in the foreground. The command can read input from the terminal. $ ...

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