I'm having a trouble either with a filename glob in rm or with a variable expansion in wget.

In Ubuntu 16.04, I did the following:

set -a
export drt="/var/www/html"
export pma="[pP][hH][pP][mM][yY][aA][dD][mM][iI][nN]"
set +a
echo $drt # Got the above.
echo $pma # Got the above.

I then ran that an executable script (~/myScripts/tp_pma.sh):

rm -rf ${drt}/${pma}*
wget -P ${drt} https://www.phpmyadmin.net/downloads/phpMyAdmin-latest-all-languages.zip
unzip ${drt}/${pma}*.zip
mv ${drt}/${pma}*/ ${drt}/phpmyadmin/
rm ${drt}/${pma}*.zip

The script succeeded partially:

  1. The first rm might have succeed or might have caused all problems below.
  2. The wget succeeded partially - a zip with a fresh copy of PMA was downloaded to my home directory instead to drt.
  3. The unzip succeeded, the zip was unzipped and I got a latest phpmyadmin dir.
  4. The mv failed (see error below). Because the directory phpMyAdmin-4.7.7-all-languages stayed in my home directory: it wasn't moved to drt and didn't have its name changed to phpmyadmin as I expected.
  5. The last rm succeeded - the zip was deleted in my home directory.

I didn't get an error fr wget.

Also, it seems that the value of pma changed somehow to phpMyAdmin-4.7.7-all-languages. I didn't change it to that value.

What is likely to have failed here and why?

  • 1
    BTW, those aren’t regular expressions, they’re shell globs.
    – Jeff Schaller
    Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 18:59
  • So how could I target the phpmyadmin file name (zip and dir)? Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 19:06
  • There's nothing stopping you from telling wget to write to a specific file name with -O filename.zip and then use that name. That will get rid of that unmaintainable shell globbing pattern. But then again, you already specify the explicit name of the file at the end of the URL, so why use a shell glob in the first case?
    – Kusalananda
    Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 19:14
  • The echo $pma only outputs the pattern because of luck. If you have a file/directory matching the pattern in the current directory, you get that name instead.
    – Kusalananda
    Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 19:17
  • 1
    @ilkkachu Still, the ${pma}*.zip could definitely go away.
    – Kusalananda
    Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 19:30

2 Answers 2


The unzip command you used extracts the archive in the directory unzip runs in, not where the archive lies in. You could either change to the directory containing the archive first, or use the -d option:

[-d exdir]
An optional directory to which to extract files. By default, all files and subdirectories are recreated in the current directory;

I would probably go with the chdir option:

cd "$drt"
rm -r ${pma}*
wget https://www.phpmyadmin.net/downloads/phpMyAdmin-latest-all-languages.zip
unzip phpMyAdmin-latest-all-languages.zip
mv ${pma}*/ phpmyadmin/
rm phpMyAdmin-latest-all-languages.zip

Also, when you say "the value of pma changed somehow to phpMyAdmin-4.7.7-all-languages", do note that using the variable unquoted will cause it to be used as a filename pattern, so echo $pma* will show the names of the existing files if any match the pattern.

(I'm not exactly sure if the case-insensitive pattern is required; is there a realistic reason to expect the name format to change from phpMyAdmin to phpmyadmin?)

  • I miss why the wget failed --- the file was downloaded to my home dir instead to ${drt}. Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 19:12
  • 1
    @user9303970, I can't reproduce that. Even if drt was unset in the script, it wasn't quoted in the wget command, so that argument would disappear and wget should complain about a missing URL.
    – ilkkachu
    Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 19:16
  • Okay deleted comment. Thanks for clarifying. Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 19:39

Suggestion for alternative script:

#!/bin/sh -ex


tmpdir=$(mktemp -d)
trap 'rm -rf "$tmpdir"' EXIT    # remove temporary directory on termination

wget -O "$tmpdir/archive.zip" \

cd "$tmpdir" && {
    unzip archive.zip
    rm -f archive.zip

    # The only thing in the current (temporary) directory now is the
    # directory with the unpacked zip file.

    mkdir -p "$destdir"
    mv ./* "$destdir"/

If the archive unpacks into a subdirectory called phpMyAdmin-4.7.7-all-languages, the script will move this to /var/www/html/phpmyadmin so that the contents of the archive is available in /var/www/html/phpmyadmin/phpMyAdmin-4.7.7-all-languages.

The -ex makes the script

  1. Exit as soon as a utility fails (-e), and
  2. Output tracing info that could possibly be useful (-x).

Running this script twice will cause the last mv to fail as there is already a directory with the same name at the destination. The existing directory under $destdir will not be modified by this script.

When the script finishes, terminates because of an error, or is killed, the script will remove the temporary directory used for storing and unpacking the downloaded archive.

About root and security in this script:

If root permissions are required to write to $tmpdir then do not run the script as root! Instead insert sudo in front of the last mv.

There is, what I can see, no risk that any accidental removals will be carried out as the only parameter is $destdir and it's never used in any rm $var1/$var2* -type commands. In fact, unsetting $destdir will make the script fail gracefully at the mkdir.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .