How to use positional parameters

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All command line parameters ( positional parameters ) are available via special shell variable $1, $2, $3,...,$9.

How Do I Access Command-Line Arguments

Create a simple shell script called cmdargs.sh:

#!/bin/bash
echo "The script name : $0"
echo "The value of the first argument to the script : $1"
echo "The value of the second argument to the script : $2"
echo "The value of the third argument to the script : $3"
echo "The number of arguments passed to the script : $#"
echo "The value of all command-line arguments (\$* version) : $*"
echo "The value of all command-line arguments (\$@ version) : $@"

Save and close the file. Rut it as follows:

chmod +x cmdargs.sh
./cmdargs.sh bmw ford toyota

Sample outputs:

The script name : ./cmdargs.sh
The value of the first argument to the script : bmw
The value of the second argument to the script : ford
The value of the third argument to the script : toyota
The number of arguments passed to the script : 3
The value of all command-line arguments ($* version) : bmw ford toyota
The value of all command-line arguments ($@ version) : bmw ford toyota

Try the following examples:

ls /tmp
./math 10 + 3
~/scripts/addzone cyberciti.com
~/scripts/adddomain cyberciti.biz '74.86.48.99' '2607:f0d0:1002:11::4' 
/etc/init.d/named reload
/usr/local/etc/rc.d/jail restart cyberciti.biz
Shell script name ($0) Total number of arguments ($#) Actual Command line argument ($1,..,$9)
ls 1 /tmp
./math 3 10, +, and 3
~/scripts/addzone 1 cyberciti.com
~/scripts/adddomain 3 cyberciti.biz, 74.86.48.99, and 2607:f0d0:1002:11::4
/etc/init.d/named reload 1 reload
/usr/local/etc/rc.d/jail 2 restart, and cyberciti.biz

A Note About $@ and $*

  • $@ expanded as "$1" "$2" "$3" ... "$n"
  • $* expanded as "$1y$2y$3y...$n", where y is the value of $IFS variable i.e. "$*" is one long string and $IFS act as an separator or token delimiters.

Example: The Difference Between $@ and $*

Create a shell script called pizza.sh:

#!/bin/bash
IFS=", "
echo "* Displaying all pizza names using \$@"
echo "$@"
echo 
 
echo "* Displaying all pizza names using \$*"
echo "$*"

Save and close the file. Run it as follows:

chmod +x pizza.sh
./pizza.sh Margherita Tomato Panner Gourmet

Sample outputs:

* Displaying all pizza names using $@
Margherita Tomato Panner Gourmet

*Displaying all pizza names using $*
Margherita,Tomato,Panner,Gourmet
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