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Full Discussion: recognizing * character
Top Forums Shell Programming and Scripting recognizing * character Post 89790 by mschwage on Tuesday 15th of November 2005 10:54:22 PM
Shell metacharacters

Originally Posted by csejl
i have a short script that takes a filename and secure copies the file to a remote machine. i'd like to be able to take a * character and secure copy all the files in the directory.
It sounds to me like you're trying to do the work that the shell already does for you.

Say I cd to /tmp and do ls * . Say it comes back with
file1 file2 file3

Then I create a script in my home directory. Call it foo. Now I cd to /tmp, run the command foo, with * as an argument: ~/foo * . Note that the script "foo" is NOT given a * as an argument. Because what the shell does, before it even executes the command (which is my shell script), is to: Expand variables, Expand metacharacters, and Expand commands in backticks (or $( ...) in ksh ). So when I type
~/foo  *

, the shell does not run
~/foo  *

. It expands the *, and really runs
~/foo   file1 file2 file3


So what you're thinking of doing is actually
 scp  $@ user@ip:

I don't believe you need or want a directory in the "user@ip:" part of the scp because your files will by default be placed in the home directory of user over at your host given by ip.

Finally, I'm not sure of the syntax of the scp command with multiple files. Try doing two of them first, and see if it works. Remember that metacharacters aren't magic, they are pretty ignorant although powerful. What they do is serve as placeholders for a replacement. The shell does the replacing, then and only then does your script or command get the results of the replacement(s).
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RCP(1)							    BSD General Commands Manual 						    RCP(1)

rcp -- remote file copy SYNOPSIS
rcp [-46p] source_file target_file rcp [-46pr] source_file ... target_directory DESCRIPTION
The rcp utility copies files between machines. Each source_file, target_file, or target_directory argument is either a remote file name of the form ``ruser@rhost:path'', or a local file name (containing no ':' characters, or a '/' before any ':'s). The following options are available: -4 Use IPv4 addresses only. -6 Use IPv6 addresses only. -p Cause rcp to attempt to preserve (duplicate) in its copies the modification times and modes of the source files, ignoring the umask(2). By default, the mode and owner of target_file are preserved if it already exists; otherwise the mode of the source file modified by the umask(2) on the destination host is used. -r If any of the source files are directories, rcp copies each subtree rooted at that name; in this case the destination must be a directory. If path is not a full path name, it is interpreted relative to the login directory of the specified user ruser on rhost, or your current user name if no other remote user name is specified. A path on a remote host may be quoted (using '', '"', or ''') so that the metacharacters are interpreted remotely. The rcp utility does not prompt for passwords; it performs remote execution via rsh(1), and requires the same authorization. The rcp utility handles third party copies, where neither source nor target files are on the current machine. SEE ALSO
cp(1), ftp(1), rlogin(1), rsh(1), hosts.equiv(5) HISTORY
The rcp command appeared in 4.2BSD. BUGS
Does not detect all cases where the target of a copy might be a file in cases where only a directory should be legal. Is confused by any output generated by commands in a .login, .profile, or .cshrc file on the remote host. The destination user and hostname may have to be specified as ``rhost.ruser'' when the destination machine is running the 4.2BSD version of rcp. BSD
October 16, 2002 BSD

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