.\" Copyright (c) 1990, 1991, 1993 .\" The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved. .\" .\" This code is derived from software contributed to Berkeley by .\" John B. Roll Jr. and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics .\" Engineers, Inc. .\" .\" Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without .\" modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions .\" are met: .\" 1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright .\" notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer. .\" 2. Redistributions in binary form must reproduce the above copyright .\" notice, this list of conditions and the following disclaimer in the .\" documentation and/or other materials provided with the distribution. .\" 3. All advertising materials mentioning features or use of this software .\" must display the following acknowledgement: .\" This product includes software developed by the University of .\" California, Berkeley and its contributors. .\" 4. Neither the name of the University nor the names of its contributors .\" may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software .\" without specific prior written permission. .\" .\" THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE REGENTS AND CONTRIBUTORS ``AS IS'' AND .\" ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE .\" IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE .\" ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE REGENTS OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE .\" FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL .\" DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS .\" OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) .\" HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT .\" LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY .\" OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF .\" SUCH DAMAGE. .\" .\" @(#)xargs.1 8.1 (Berkeley) 6/6/93 .\" $FreeBSD: src/usr.bin/xargs/xargs.1,v 1.34 2005/05/21 09:55:09 ru Exp $ .\" $xMach: xargs.1,v 1.2 2002/02/23 05:23:37 tim Exp $ .\" .Dd August 2, 2004 .Dt XARGS 1 .Os .Sh NAME .Nm xargs .Nd "construct argument list(s) and execute utility" .Sh SYNOPSIS .Nm .Op Fl 0opt .Op Fl E Ar eofstr .Oo .Fl I Ar replstr .Op Fl R Ar replacements .Oc .Op Fl J Ar replstr .Op Fl L Ar number .Oo .Fl n Ar number .Op Fl x .Oc .Op Fl P Ar maxprocs .Op Fl s Ar size .Op Ar utility Op Ar argument ... .Sh DESCRIPTION The .Nm utility reads space, tab, newline and end-of-file delimited strings from the standard input and executes .Ar utility with the strings as arguments. .Pp Any arguments specified on the command line are given to .Ar utility upon each invocation, followed by some number of the arguments read from the standard input of .Nm . The utility is repeatedly executed until standard input is exhausted. .Pp Spaces, tabs and newlines may be embedded in arguments using single (``\ '\ '') or double (``"'') quotes or backslashes (``\e''). Single quotes escape all non-single quote characters, excluding newlines, up to the matching single quote. Double quotes escape all non-double quote characters, excluding newlines, up to the matching double quote. Any single character, including newlines, may be escaped by a backslash. .Pp The options are as follows: .Bl -tag -width indent .It Fl 0 Change .Nm to expect NUL (``\\0'') characters as separators, instead of spaces and newlines. This is expected to be used in concert with the .Fl print0 function in .Xr find 1 . .It Fl E Ar eofstr Use .Ar eofstr as a logical EOF marker. .It Fl I Ar replstr Execute .Ar utility for each input line, replacing one or more occurrences of .Ar replstr in up to .Ar replacements (or 5 if no .Fl R flag is specified) arguments to .Ar utility with the entire line of input. The resulting arguments, after replacement is done, will not be allowed to grow beyond 255 bytes; this is implemented by concatenating as much of the argument containing .Ar replstr as possible, to the constructed arguments to .Ar utility , up to 255 bytes. The 255 byte limit does not apply to arguments to .Ar utility which do not contain .Ar replstr , and furthermore, no replacement will be done on .Ar utility itself. Implies .Fl x . .It Fl J Ar replstr If this option is specified, .Nm will use the data read from standard input to replace the first occurrence of .Ar replstr instead of appending that data after all other arguments. This option will not affect how many arguments will be read from input .Pq Fl n , or the size of the command(s) .Nm will generate .Pq Fl s . The option just moves where those arguments will be placed in the command(s) that are executed. The .Ar replstr must show up as a distinct .Ar argument to .Nm . It will not be recognized if, for instance, it is in the middle of a quoted string. Furthermore, only the first occurrence of the .Ar replstr will be replaced. For example, the following command will copy the list of files and directories which start with an uppercase letter in the current directory to .Pa destdir : .Pp .Dl /bin/ls -1d [A-Z]* | xargs -J % cp -rp % destdir .Pp .It Fl L Ar number Call .Ar utility for every .Ar number non-empty lines read. A line ending with a space continues to the next non-empty line. If EOF is reached and fewer lines have been read than .Ar number then .Ar utility will be called with the available lines. The .Fl L and .Fl n options are mutually-exclusive; the last one given will be used. .It Fl n Ar number Set the maximum number of arguments taken from standard input for each invocation of .Ar utility . An invocation of .Ar utility will use less than .Ar number standard input arguments if the number of bytes accumulated (see the .Fl s option) exceeds the specified .Ar size or there are fewer than .Ar number arguments remaining for the last invocation of .Ar utility . The current default value for .Ar number is 5000. .It Fl o Reopen stdin as .Pa /dev/tty in the child process before executing the command. This is useful if you want .Nm to run an interactive application. .It Fl P Ar maxprocs Parallel mode: run at most .Ar maxprocs invocations of .Ar utility at once. .It Fl p Echo each command to be executed and ask the user whether it should be executed. An affirmative response, .Ql y in the POSIX locale, causes the command to be executed, any other response causes it to be skipped. No commands are executed if the process is not attached to a terminal. .It Fl R Ar replacements Specify the maximum number of arguments that .Fl I will do replacement in. If .Ar replacements is negative, the number of arguments in which to replace is unbounded. .It Fl s Ar size Set the maximum number of bytes for the command line length provided to .Ar utility . The sum of the length of the utility name, the arguments passed to .Ar utility (including .Dv NULL terminators) and the current environment will be less than or equal to this number. The current default value for .Ar size is .Dv ARG_MAX - 4096. .It Fl t Echo the command to be executed to standard error immediately before it is executed. .It Fl x Force .Nm to terminate immediately if a command line containing .Ar number arguments will not fit in the specified (or default) command line length. .El .Pp If .Ar utility is omitted, .Xr echo 1 is used. .Pp Undefined behavior may occur if .Ar utility reads from the standard input. .Pp The .Nm utility exits immediately (without processing any further input) if a command line cannot be assembled, .Ar utility cannot be invoked, an invocation of .Ar utility is terminated by a signal, or an invocation of .Ar utility exits with a value of 255. .Sh LEGACY DESCRIPTION In legacy mode, the .Fl L option treats all newlines as end-of-line, regardless of whether the line is empty or ends with a space. In addition, the .Fl L and .Fl n options are not mutually-exclusive. .Pp For more information about legacy mode, see .Xr compat 5 . .Sh EXIT STATUS The .Nm utility exits with a value of 0 if no error occurs. If .Ar utility cannot be found, .Nm exits with a value of 127, otherwise if .Ar utility cannot be executed, .Nm exits with a value of 126. If any other error occurs, .Nm exits with a value of 1. .Sh SEE ALSO .Xr echo 1 , .Xr find 1 , .Xr execvp 3 , .Xr compat 5 .Sh STANDARDS The .Nm utility is expected to be .St -p1003.2 compliant. The .Fl J , o , P and .Fl R options are non-standard .Fx extensions which may not be available on other operating systems. .Sh HISTORY The .Nm command appeared in PWB UNIX. .Sh BUGS If .Ar utility attempts to invoke another command such that the number of arguments or the size of the environment is increased, it risks .Xr execvp 3 failing with .Er E2BIG . .Pp The .Nm utility does not take multibyte characters into account when performing string comparisons for the .Fl I and .Fl J options, which may lead to incorrect results in some locales.