Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (1318 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] BASH - while read; howto read last line in file without blank line at end?
  • From: "David C. Rankin" <drankinatty@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 04 Nov 2008 02:53:07 -0600
  • Message-id: <49100D73.1090306@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
David Bolt wrote:
On Sat, 1 Nov 2008, Sandy Drobic wrote:-

David C. Rankin wrote:

I'm stumped on another simple BASH problem. How do I read the last
line of a
file with a while loop without requiring a blank line at the end of the

You can't, not if the loop-test is using the true/false return from read
to work out whether to execute the loop body or not. Without an EOL,
read will actually read the line and store it in the variables, but
returns a false if there's no EOL which the 'while' then sees as a
failure and so causes it to skip the body of the loop.

Okay, it's still missing the last line. Last try, and I've split this
one up so it's spread over a few lines to make it easier to read, with
one that will work and should even handle 0-length files:

davjam@playing:~> while :
[ -n "${LINE}${TEXT}" ] && echo "${LINE} -> ${TEXT}"
[ "${EXIT}" -ne 0 ] && break
done <dummy.txt
line_one -> has_EOL
line_two -> has_EOL
line_three -> has_EOL
line_four -> no_EOL

With this one, the echo command is executed only if ${LINE} and/or
${TEXT} have any contents. I assigned the return value from the read
command and use that after the echo command to decide whether to break
out of the loop. This avoids printing out:


if there's a blank line in the input file.

Of course, you could add another line:

[ -z "${LINE}${TEXT}" ] && echo

to show there was a blank line present.

David Bolt

That was the trick I was looking for! Are you sure someone didn't
install a
BASH processor inside you head when you were asleep! Thanks David.

David C. Rankin, J.D., P.E.
Rankin Law Firm, PLLC
510 Ochiltree Street
Nacogdoches, Texas 75961
Telephone: (936) 715-9333
Facsimile: (936) 715-9339
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