I am taking some input from user and checking details about that.



I take the above string as an input and want to retrieve one.txt, I need to further proceed with one.txt.

  • You really should just ask your real question. – bahamat Oct 9 '13 at 5:06
  • @bahamat I want to get one.txt from input. – Death Metal Oct 9 '13 at 5:07

@Jordanm has already given you the canonical answer that works for any string. If you are dealing specifically with paths, you can also use the programs basename and dirname:

   basename - strip directory and suffix from filenames
   dirname - strip last component from file name

For example:

$ file="$HOME/Documents/test/one.txt"
$ dir=$(dirname "$file");
$ name=$(basename "$file");
$ echo "The file called $name is in the directory $dir"
The file called one.txt is in the directory /home/terdon/Documents/test

This is a common task that can be handled by a parameter expansion in any POSIX shell.

file=${path##*/} # file contains one.txt

Another common method is to use the basename program.

file=$(basename "$path")

The only disadvantage is having to spawn an external program. It's main advantage is that it properly handles paths with a trailing /.

  • 2
    To be pedantic, "$(basename "$path")" is wrong in the unlikely event that $path ends with a newline. This is because a) basename adds an extra newline on the end, and b) $(command) strips all trailing newlines. To make it work requires a perverse workaround, something like this: path=$'/tmp/evil\n'; file="$(basename "$path"; printf x)"; strip=$'\nx'; fixed="${file%%$strip}" – Matt Oct 9 '13 at 6:04

If you're doing this with filenames, use the basename command:

$ basename $HOME/Documents/test/one.txt


$ FILE=$(basename basename $HOME/Documents/test/one.txt)
$ echo $FILE

If you need to split arbitrary strings with arbitrary delimiters it's a little bit of magic. Read the string into an array and set the input field separator to the delimiter.

Here's an example:

$ IFS='/' read -a my_array <<< "$HOME/Documents/test/one.txt"
$ ARRAY_LENGTH=$(( ${#my_array[@]} - 1 ))
$ echo "${my_array[$ARRAY_LENGTH]}"

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