[CentOS] Re: ls and rm: "argument list too long"

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at gmail.com
Sat Oct 18 04:52:00 UTC 2008

Robert Nichols wrote:
>> These shouldn't make any difference.  The limit is on the size of the 
>> expanded shell command line.
> Really?
> $ M=0; N=0; for W in `find /usr -xdev 2>/dev/null`; do M=$(($M+1)); 
> N=$(($N+${#W}+1)); done; echo $M $N
> 156304 7677373
> vs.
> $ /bin/echo `find /usr -xdev 2>/dev/null`
> bash: /bin/echo: Argument list too long
> For the first case, the shell never tries to pass the list as command 
> arguments.
> It builds the list internally, limited only by memory size, and 
> processes the
> words one by one.

Is that peculiar to bash?  I thought the `command` construct was 
expanded by shells into the command line before being evaluated.

   Les Mikesell
    lesmikesell at gmail.com

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