xargs(1) -- Linux man page



xargs - build and execute command lines from standard input  


xargs [-0prtx] [-E eof-str] [-e[eof-str]] [-I replace-str] [-i[replace-str]] [-L max-lines] [-l[max-lines]] [-n max-args] [-s max-chars] [-P max-procs] [--null] [--eof[=eof-str]] [--replace[=replace-str]] [--max-lines[=max-lines]] [--interactive] [--max-chars=max-chars] [--verbose] [--exit] [--max-procs=max-procs] [--max-args=max-args] [--no-run-if-empty] [--version] [--help] [command [initial-arguments]]  


This manual page documents the GNU version of xargs. xargs reads arguments from the standard input, delimited by blanks (which can be protected with double or single quotes or a backslash) or newlines, and executes the command (default is /bin/echo) one or more times with any initial-arguments followed by arguments read from standard input. Blank lines on the standard input are ignored. xargs exits with the following status:
0 if it succeeds
123 if any invocation of the command exited with status 1-125
124 if the command exited with status 255
125 if the command is killed by a signal
126 if the command cannot be run
127 if the command is not found
1 if some other error occurred.


--null, -0
Input filenames are terminated by a null character instead of by whitespace, and the quotes and backslash are not special (every character is taken literally). Disables the end of file string, which is treated like any other argument. Useful when arguments might contain white space, quote marks, or backslashes. The GNU find -print0 option produces input suitable for this mode.
--eof[=eof-str], -E eof-str, -e[eof-str]
Set the end of file string to eof-str. If the end of file string occurs as a line of input, the rest of the input is ignored. If eof-str is omitted or if -E option's argument is an empty string, there is no end of file string. If this option is not given, the end of file string defaults to "_".
Print a summary of the options to xargs and exit.
--replace[=replace-str], -I replace-str, -i[replace-str]
Replace occurences of replace-str in the initial arguments with names read from standard input. Also, unquoted blanks do not terminate arguments. If replace-str is omitted, it defaults to "{}" (like for `find -exec'). Implies -x and -L 1.
--max-lines[=max-lines], -L max-lines, -l[max-lines]
Use at most max-lines nonblank input lines per command line; max-lines defaults to 1 if omitted. Trailing blanks cause an input line to be logically continued on the next input line. Implies -x.
--max-args=max-args, -n max-args
Use at most max-args arguments per command line. Fewer than max-args arguments will be used if the size (see the -s option) is exceeded, unless the -x option is given, in which case xargs will exit.
--interactive, -p
Prompt the user about whether to run each command line and read a line from the terminal. Only run the command line if the response starts with `y' or `Y'. Implies -t.
--no-run-if-empty, -r
If the standard input does not contain any nonblanks, do not run the command. Normally, the command is run once even if there is no input.
--max-chars=max-chars, -s max-chars
Use at most max-chars characters per command line, including the command and initial arguments and the terminating nulls at the ends of the argument strings. The default is as large as possible, up to 20k characters.
--verbose, -t
Print the command line on the standard error output before executing it.
Print the version number of xargs and exit.
--exit, -x
Exit if the size (see the -s option) is exceeded.
--max-procs=max-procs, -P max-procs
Run up to max-procs processes at a time; the default is 1. If max-procs is 0, xargs will run as many processes as possible at a time. Use the -n option with -P; otherwise chances are that only one exec will be done.


find(1L), locate(1L), locatedb(5L), updatedb(1) Finding Files (on-line in Info, or printed)