I tried to run readlink -f on multiple files by using wildcard "*", but it evaluates other files as operand


readlink -f *log

Output (desired)


Am I doing something wrong ? I am using tcsh and readlink is only command I am aware to read path of file.


You can also use realpath:

% realpath *

realpath is not POSIX. It is available by default on FreeBSD systems, and on some (but not all) Linux systems (but AFAIK can be installed as a package on most, if not all, Linux systems).
realpath's behaviour might be different across implementations, so the above behaviour is not guaranteed to work. I've tested it on FreeBSD 10 & Arch Linux.

  • I already checked. I have no command like realpath and I have no prev-ledges to install it. – JigarGandhi Jan 12 '15 at 11:49
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    @JigarGandhi You can get a binary (or compile one) and drop it in ~/bin, and add that to your $PATH. You don't need to install it system-wide. – Martin Tournoij Jan 12 '15 at 12:04
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    GNU coreutils includes a realpath command, and Linux distributions are standardizing on that, but it's taking time. For example Debian's coreutils package only includes realpath since jessie (currently testing); in wheezy (stable) realpath is an optional package containing an older implementation. – Gilles Jan 13 '15 at 23:02

readlink only works with one file, you need a loop to do that:

for f in *; do
  readlink -f -- "$f"
  • is there any alternative to for loop? @cuongim – JigarGandhi Jan 12 '15 at 10:51
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    This is probably the cleanest and most readable solution, looping over files is a widely used pattern in shell scripting. If you want to work recursively or with complex predicates, you can always use find . -exec readlink -f -- '{}' ';' – orion Jan 12 '15 at 12:54
  • Note that readlink isn't POSIX, for example on OSX readlink -f won't work (I happened to find this out the other day, I always thought that readlink was POSIX, for some reason). – Martin Tournoij Jan 27 '15 at 9:31
  • @Carpetsmoker: Yes, of course. readlink on OSX is not GNU readlink - developer.apple.com/library/mac/documentation/Darwin/Reference/…. On OSX, you can use greadlink from coreutils. – cuonglm Jan 27 '15 at 9:38

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