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xargs - build and execute command lines from standard input


xargs [-0hprtvx] [-e[eof-str]] [-i[replace-str]] [-l[max-lines]] [-n max-args] [-s max-chars] [--null] [--eof[=eof-str]] [--replace[=replace-str]] [--max-lines[=max-lines]] [--max-chars=max-chars] [--verbose] [--exit] [--query] [--max-args=max-args] [--no-run-if-empty] [--version] [--help] [command [initial-arguments]]


This manual page documents the Ron Charlton-revised GNU version of xargs (revised for use on Windows). xargs reads arguments from the standard input, delimited by blanks (which can be protected with double quotes) or newlines, and executes the command (default is /bin/echo) one or more times with any initial-arguments followed by arguments read from standard input. Blank lines on the standard input are ignored.

xargs exits with the following status:

0 if it succeeds
123 if any invocation of the command exited with status 1-125
124 if the command exited with status 255
125 if the command is killed by a signal [not implemented]
126 if the command cannot be run
127 if the command is not found
1 if some other error occurred.


-0, --null
Input filenames are terminated by a null character instead of by whitespace, and the quotes and backslash are not special (every character is taken literally). Disables the end of file string, which is treated like any other argument. Useful when arguments might contain white space, quote marks, or backslashes. The GNU find -print0 option produces input suitable for this mode.
-e[eof-str], --eof[=eof-str]
Set the end of file string to eof-str. If the end of file string occurs as a line of input, the rest of the input is ignored. If eof-str is omitted, there is no end of file string. If this option is not given, the end of file string defaults to none.
-h, --help
Print a summary of the options to xargs and exit.
-i[replace-str], --replace[=replace-str]
Replace occurences of replace-str in the initial arguments with names read from standard input. Also, unquoted blanks do not terminate arguments. If replace-str is omitted, it defaults to "{}" (like for ‘find -exec’). Implies -x and -l 1.
-l[max-lines], --max-lines[=max-lines]
Use at most max-lines nonblank input lines per command line; max-lines defaults to 1 if omitted. Trailing blanks cause an input line to be logically continued on the next input line. Implies -x.
-n max-args, --max-args=max-args
Use at most max-args arguments per command line. Fewer than max-args arguments will be used if the size (see the -s option) is exceeded, unless the -x option is given, in which case xargs will exit.
-r, --no-run-if-empty
If the standard input does not contain any nonblanks, do not run the command. Normally, the command is run once even if there is no input.
-s max-chars, --max-chars=max-chars
Use at most max-chars characters per command line, including the command and initial arguments and the terminating nulls at the ends of the argument strings. The default is as large as possible, up to 20k characters.
-t, --verbose
Print the command line on the standard error output before executing it.
-v, --version
Print the version number and copyright of xargs and exit.
-x, --exit
Exit if the size (see the -s option) is exceeded.
-p, --query
Print each command line to standard error and ask whether to execute the command, skip the command or quit. Option -n can be useful with option -p.

See Also

find(1L) , locate(1L) , locatedb(5L) , updatedb(1) Finding Files (on-line in Info, or printed)

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