I would like to perform command substitution before brace expansion, but couldn't:

$ ls {$(seq -s , 13 20)}.pdf
ls: cannot access {13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20}.pdf: No such file or directory

How can I do it?

2 Answers 2


You simply need to use the eval shell builtin:

$ eval ls {$(seq -s , 13 20)}.pdf

Where eval takes the arguments passed to it:

ls {$(seq -s , 13 20)}.pdf

and concatenates them together into a single command:

ls {13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20}.pdf

which is then read and executed by the shell.

$ eval ls {$(seq -s , 13 20)}.pdf
13.pdf  14.pdf  15.pdf  16.pdf  17.pdf  18.pdf  19.pdf  20.pdf

have you tried

ls $(seq -f %.0f.pdf 13 20 )
  • -f gives the format string
  • .0f for 0 decimal digit float
  • .pdf obvious

(and you know about $( ) syntax)


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