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The for loop is the first of the three shell looping constructs. This loop allows for specification of a list of values. A list of commands is executed for each value in the list.
The syntax for this loop is:
NAME [in LIST ]; do COMMANDS; done
The return status is the exit status of the last command that executes. If no commands are executed because
LIST does not expand to any items, the return status is zero.
NAME can be any variable name, although
i is used very often.
LIST can be any list of words, strings or numbers, which can be literal or generated by any command. The COMMANDS to execute can also be any operating system commands, script, program or shell statement. The first time through the loop,
NAME is set to the first item in
LIST. The second time, its value is set to the second item in the list, and so on. The loop terminates when
NAME has taken on each of the values from
LIST and no items are left in
The first is a command line example, demonstrating the use of a for loop that makes a backup copy of each
.xml file. After issuing the command, it is safe to start working on your sources:
This one lists the files in
/sbin that are just plain text files, and possibly scripts:
The following is a specific application script for converting HTML files, compliant with a certain scheme, to PHP files. The conversion is done by taking out the first 25 and the last 21 lines, replacing these with two PHP tags that provide header and footer lines:
Since we don't do a line count here, there is no way of knowing the line number from which to start deleting lines until reaching the end. The problem is solved using tac, which reverses the lines in a file.