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so one of the questions i have been working on is to display the contents of a directory files by using its wildcards do display specific contents, in this case aim using ls and the portion that I got lost on is I need to display filenames that stat is a but exclude everything that has aa. it can however be ab.

any hints, ill keep looking and post and answer if i find anything, and any help with usage of wildcards would be great. Thanks

  • Err, a "wildcard" glob will be expanded by the shell prior to ls even being run, and (unless zsh EXTENDED_GLOB or such) there's not much you can do with them. Another option would be to pipe the listing to grep, but that's not using wildcards. – thrig Mar 10 '16 at 23:17
  • typically i used ls ? * ! [] to figure what filenames to display – Phantom1421 Mar 10 '16 at 23:37
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the answer i found is ls a[!a]*

This will allow me to find a word with a as first character but nothing with aa

  • Your glob still won't match the one-letter filename a. I don't know if that's important to you. – Wildcard Mar 11 '16 at 1:45
  • It does exactly what I need it to display a file name that starts with 'a' but not 'aa' – Phantom1421 Mar 11 '16 at 1:47
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Doing complicated file globs with multiple conditions in the shell is difficult. It's easier to use find for this:

find files -type f -maxdepth 1 -name "a*" \! -name "*aa*" -print

To get ls -l behaviour, change -print to -ls.

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