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Table Of Contents  CertiGuide to A+ (A+ 4 Real)
 9  Chapter 5: The Linux Operating System
      9  Basic Concepts and Procedures for Creating, Viewing and Editing Files and Directories
           9  Meta Characters

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Wildcard Characters

As the table says the * will match zero or more characters. In other words if one has for example the following files in a directory:

h hat hat1 hat2 hat11 hat12 hat13 hat21 hat22 hat23 hat31 hat32 hat33 head house

The string h* would match every file within that directory. In particular, notice that h* matches the file name h since the * can stand for zero or any number of characters. Additionally consider ha*, which would match the files: hat hat1 hat2 hat11 hat12 hat13 hat21 hat22 hat23 hat31 hat32 hat33 and no others, since the other file names do not have a as a second character of their name.

The ? Meta character matches any single character. Using the same list of files as above, the string hat? will match only the files named hat1 hat2 and no others. This is true because the string implies that the file names start with hat and have one and only one additional character. These two names are the only ones that meet this criterion.


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