Given ./mysh0:


exec ./mysh1 $*

And ./mysh1:


echo $1
echo $2
echo $3

How do I call mysh0 such that the arguments to mysh1 and what's eventually printed are "A", "B 2" and "C"?

Calling this as ./mysh0 A "B 2" C does not work.

  • 2
    Using "$@" instead of $*, note the quotes. See also: unix.stackexchange.com/q/41571/38906
    – cuonglm
    Dec 10, 2015 at 3:15
  • Hmm. Anyway working around it? I'm afraid ./mysh0 is an intermediate script that I do not own.
    – jvliwanag
    Dec 10, 2015 at 3:22
  • 2
    No, you can not. You must control the mysh0, because it decided how to pass argument to mysh1.
    – cuonglm
    Dec 10, 2015 at 3:27
  • Ok got it! Mind posting this as an answer so I can mark this as answered?
    – jvliwanag
    Dec 10, 2015 at 4:01

1 Answer 1


You must use "$@" instead of $*:

exec ./mysh1 "$@"

That's the right way to expand all positional arguments as separated words.

When you use $*, all positional arguments was concatenated in to one long string, with the first value of IFS as separator, which default to a whitespace, you got A B 2 C.

Now, because you use $* without double quote (which can lead to security implications and make your script choked), the shell perform split+glob on it. The long string you got above was split into four words, A, B, 2 and C.

Therefore, you actually passed four arguments to mysh1 instead of three.

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