I'm not sure what the following line does in a bash script:

if echo $line | grep -F = &>/dev/null

I know &>/dev/null is short for >/dev/null 2>&1, I'm not sure, however, what the = is for and I cannot find any explanation.

  • It checks is there = symbol in line variable – Costas Jan 25 '16 at 23:44
  • It could be (perhaps) more clearly written as if [[ $line == *"="* ]]; then ... – glenn jackman Jan 26 '16 at 0:11

From man grep

-F, --fixed-strings
       Interpret PATTERN as a  list  of  fixed  strings,  separated  by
       newlines,  any  of  which is to be matched.  (-F is specified by

So it's just checking for the presence of = as a literal string in $line

  • 1
    Not in $line, in the output of echo $line which could be completely different. As echo and the slit+glob operator are used. – Stéphane Chazelas Jan 26 '16 at 13:29

It does:

case $line in 
(*=*) : this would be the then block
(*)   : maybe an else\?

...only not very well, or nearly as quickly.

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