I have a space in one of the directory names. I want to list a file under it from a bash script. Here is my script:

fpath="${HOME}/\"New Folder\"/foobar.txt"

echo "fpath=(${fpath})"

ls "${fpath}"

The output for this script is:

fpath=(/Users/<username>/"New Folder"/foobar.txt)
ls: /Users/<username>/"New Folder"/foobar.txt: No such file or directory

But when is list the file on my shell it exists:

$ ls /Users/<username>/"New Folder"/foobar.txt
/Users/<username>/New Folder/foobar.txt

Is there a way I can get ls to display the path from my script?

3 Answers 3


Just remove the inner quoted double-quotes:

fpath="${HOME}/New Folder/foobar.txt"

Since the complete variable contents are contained in double-quotes, you don't need to do it a second time. The reason it works from the CLI is that Bash evaluates the quotes first. It fails in the variable because the backslash-escaped quotes are treated as a literal part of the directory path.


Is there a way I can get ls to display the path from my script?

Yes, use:

ls $HOME/New\ Folder/foobar.txt

The problem was that you were including the quotes inside the value of the variable. The real name of the directory does not have " quotes.

You need to build the variable with only one quoting method.

In variables:

fpath=${HOME}/New\ Folder/foobar.txt


fpath="${HOME}/New Folder/foobar.txt"

Or even:

fpath=${HOME}/'New Folder/foobar.txt'

Full script:

fpath=${HOME}/New\ Folder/foobar.txt
echo "fpath=(${fpath})"
ls "${fpath}"

The quotes are not part of the folder name, are they?

This should work:

fpath="$HOME/New Folder/foobar.txt"
ls "$fpath"

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