. /path/loadprofile.sh
        if [[ ! -e \$TXTDR/$B.txt ]]; then; echo "TXT file for this job does not exist."; exit; fi
        mv \$TXTDR/$B.txt /tmp/$B

It is failing with exit code 1 and does not display any error message but the file that i am trying to move just vanishes. So i have two questions here.

  1. Why is it failing? When I am trying same from command line, it
  2. If it fails, why does the file that i am trying to move
    vanish? Is that how mv generally works?

NOTE: The script is running in bash shell and the default remote server shell is ksh.

  • What happens if you replace mv with echo mv? There is also -v option to mv. – ctrl-alt-delor Feb 8 '18 at 12:30
  • Which variables are defined before this snippet of script is run? You reference $USER, $LOGINHOST, $TXTDR, and $1. The standard variable $USER is unnecessary - ssh will default to the current user account. You escape $TXTDR for evaluation on the remote host so I assume you set it in loadprofile.sh (but you don't say so). There's no check for $1 or $B being empty, nor is there a check for it containing whitespace. – roaima Feb 9 '18 at 9:06
  • @roaima I have updated my post. Yes, i am loading the profile after connecting to remote server. Apologies, I posted a snippet of the script, not the complete script. There is a check for $1 and $B being empty. – Koshur Feb 9 '18 at 10:20

The here-document delimiter, EOD, that is ending the document, must be on a line by itself. The EOD) string is not equal to EOD.

mv does not remove files on failures. Assuming $B does not contain whitespace characters and if the TXTDR variable is undefined by the remote shell, the command executed would be

mv /$B.txt /tmp/$B

(with $B expanded by the local shell before ssh is called), but that will definitely not delete /$B.txt if the target is not writable.

If $B contains whitespace characters, it needs to be double quoted (just like $TXTDR should be):

mv "\$TXTDR/$B.txt" "/tmp/$B"

For doing the particular thing that you are using this code snippet for, I would probably have written it as

ssh "$user@$server" sh -s -- "$somepath/file.txt" <<'END_SCRIPT'
[ -e "$1" ] && mv "$1" "/new/location/${1##*/}"'

or even just

ssh "$user@$server" sh -s -- "$somepath/file.txt" "/new/location/file.txt" <<'END_SCRIPT'
mv "$1" "$2"

(which arguably does not need a here-document at all and could be shortened to ssh "$user@$server" mv "..." "...")

... without outputting unnecessary text. If you want to test for success, look at $? after this (would be zero if everything went ok).

This would also work:

if ! ssh "$user@$server" mv "..." "..."; then
    echo 'Something went wrong with ssh or remote mv' >&2
| improve this answer | |
  • Oh yes! That did the trick. I remember it used to work for me previously even with ')'. Can you please answer the second part of the question. Why does the file vanish if mv fails? – Koshur Feb 8 '18 at 12:36
  • @Koshur I had to run for a bus. I will get back to this later. Others may supply fuller answers... – Kusalananda Feb 8 '18 at 12:39
  • @Koshur Where is $TXTDR defined? – Kusalananda Feb 8 '18 at 13:17
  • @roaima Ah, I am assuming its a code fragment rather than a complete script. – Kusalananda Feb 8 '18 at 13:23
  • 1
    @Kusalananda My bad - I was not escaping $?. All set now. – Koshur Feb 9 '18 at 11:43

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