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This question already has an answer here:

I have a list of commands in a file called cmds, one command per line.

I want to grab the last command, set it in a variable last_command and run it later. with $last_command or "$last_command", or whatever is more appropriate.

I start by getting the last command:

$ last_command="$(cat cmds | tail -1)"
$ echo $last_command
cat file1 file2 file\ 3

The last line of cmds was cat cat file1 file2 file\ 3.

The problem is, when I run "$last_command", it will not know that the space between file and 3 is part of the file name and give me an error.

marked as duplicate by αғsнιη, Community Apr 15 at 11:27

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Assuming your commands in file are correct and have all required spaces escaped evil eval will help you. Instead of $last_command execute this one:

eval $last_command

PS. eval normally is not considered as best practices as it easily might lead to security issues.

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