Is there any difference between:

cat <<END


cat <<EOF


  • there's no difference between END and EOF, but there's a big difference between <<END and <<'END' or <<"END"; only the first will perform (variable & other) expansions in the here-document. – mosvy Dec 22 '18 at 5:24
  • Yes spelling, and nothing else. Choose a word that is not in the document. – ctrl-alt-delor Dec 22 '18 at 12:10

No; the word that delimits the here-document can be (almost) anything.

3.6.6 Here Documents

This type of redirection instructs the shell to read input from the current source until a line containing only word (with no trailing blanks) is seen.

... where word is:

A sequence of characters treated as a unit by the shell. Words may not include unquoted metacharacters

... and metacharacters are:

A character that, when unquoted, separates words. A metacharacter is a space, tab, newline, or one of the following characters: ‘|’, ‘&’, ‘;’, ‘(’, ‘)’, ‘<’, or ‘>’.

  • notice that you can include any of those characters in the here-doc delimiter (including newlines with dash and ksh93), provided that you're quoting it. Example: printf 'cat <<" a () <> & "\nA\nB\n a () <> & \necho done\n' | bash and printf 'cat <<" a \n b "\nA\nB\n a \n b \necho done\n' | dash – mosvy Dec 22 '18 at 6:49

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