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Q&A

How to prompt a user for an expanded variable in Bash?

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I work with CentOS operating system and my only shell is Bash.

I want to create a script which prompts a user with a question like "What is your web application root?"
The user should answer directly in terminal and the answer would be stored in a variable named web_application_root.

I assume that generally the user would use variables such as ${HOME} (envar) or ${some_medium_directory} (non envar) in its answer, so any variable/s should be expanded.

How to prompt a user for an expanded variable?


I prefer not to use the read shell builtin for this because it requires IFS configuration which at least for now I find as an "overkill".
I don't think I would mind using Node.JS, Python, Perl or any "shell-completing" programming language if I have to, I just want to have something which is working and stable.

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General comments (3 comments)

1 answer

+5
−0

How about this for bash:

#!/bin/bash

echo "What is your web application root?"
read web_application_root

web_application_root="$(envsubst <<< "$web_application_root")"

echo web_application_root=$web_application_root

envsubst does the environment variable expansion for you. For example:

$ ./test.sh 
What is your web application root?
${HOME}/a b
web_application_root=/home/Someone/a b
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