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shell script syntax

Posted on 2006-07-04
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Last Modified: 2013-12-26
I've started learning the shell script and I got this error when executing the following script.  Need help solving this.

the error I got:
./testsc: line 11: [: missing `]'
./testsc: line 11: [: missing `]'

and line 11 is:
while [`head -1 ./temp` -neq 'Finished']   # check if the first line is not "Finished"
  do
     # grab four lines and save it under file result
     head -4 ./temp >> result

     # remove the first 12 lines. The next meaningful data is at line 13
     sed '1,12d' ./temp > ./temp
  done
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Question by:screwdriver
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Expert Comment

by:slyong
ID: 17040577
while [ `head -1 ./temp` -neq 'Finished' ]   # check if the first line is not "Finished"
          ^                                             ^
put space after [ and before ]
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Author Comment

by:screwdriver
ID: 17044477
got different error now:
./testsc: line 11: [: -neq: binary operator expected
./testsc: line 11: [: too many arguments
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Accepted Solution

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slyong earned 50 total points
ID: 17045605
while [ `head -1 ./temp` != 'Finished' ]   # check if the first line is not "Finished"

                                     ^^ when comparing string use !=, ! -eq is for comparing integer...
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Expert Comment

by:Tintin
ID: 17046200
slyong

-ne is for comparing integers.
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Expert Comment

by:slyong
ID: 17046213
Thank Tintin.. my bad.. I always negate the -eq using !.
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Author Comment

by:screwdriver
ID: 17048535
Thank you guys, it works now.
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