Shellscript syntax question

Jan Grant Jan.Grant at
Tue Jan 10 02:15:55 PST 2006

On Mon, 9 Jan 2006, Frank Staals wrote:

> About the asteriks : No they weren't but for some reason Thunderbird had
> problems with the color remaining from the KATE Syntax-hilighting. Anyway:
> thanks for the solusion, but what would be the expressions for ">" "less or
> equal" and "greater or equal" ?

As others have pointed out: [ is a synonym for test(1), which uses -gt, 
-ge, -eq, -ne, -lt, -le for numeric comparisons. For string comparisons, 
it uses <, !=, =, and >.

Your original expression didn't work because "<" is also a shell 
meta-character used to indicate file redirection. To get something like 
that to work, you'd need to quote it somehow:

	if [ "$a" \< "$b" ]; then ... ; fi


	if [ "$a" '<' "$b" ]; then ... ; fi

jan grant, ISYS, University of Bristol.
Tel +44 (0)117 3317661
I'm the dandy information superhighwayman.

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