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COLON(1P) POSIX Programmer's Manual COLON(1P)

This manual page is part of the POSIX Programmer's Manual. The Linux implementation of this interface may differ (consult the corresponding Linux manual page for details of Linux behavior), or the interface may not be implemented on Linux.

colon — null utility

: [argument...]

This utility shall only expand command arguments. It is used when a command is needed, as in the then condition of an if command, but nothing is to be done by the command.

None.

See the DESCRIPTION.

Not used.

None.

None.

Default.

Not used.

The standard error shall be used only for diagnostic messages.

None.

None.

Zero.

Default.

The following sections are informative.

None.

: ${X=abc}
if     false
then   :
else   echo $X
fi
abc

As with any of the special built-ins, the null utility can also have variable assignments and redirections associated with it, such as:


x=y : > z

which sets variable x to the value y (so that it persists after the null utility completes) and creates or truncates file z.

None.

None.

Section 2.14, Special Built-In Utilities

Portions of this text are reprinted and reproduced in electronic form from IEEE Std 1003.1, 2013 Edition, Standard for Information Technology -- Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX), The Open Group Base Specifications Issue 7, Copyright (C) 2013 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc and The Open Group. (This is POSIX.1-2008 with the 2013 Technical Corrigendum 1 applied.) In the event of any discrepancy between this version and the original IEEE and The Open Group Standard, the original IEEE and The Open Group Standard is the referee document. The original Standard can be obtained online at http://www.unix.org/online.html .

Any typographical or formatting errors that appear in this page are most likely to have been introduced during the conversion of the source files to man page format. To report such errors, see https://www.kernel.org/doc/man-pages/reporting_bugs.html .

2013 IEEE/The Open Group