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Re: Multiple backslashes

Randall R Schulz <> writes:

> Apart from the fact that this question involves Windows native path
> name syntax (which, by the way, works equally well with forward
> slashes), this is not Cygwin-specific.
> There are two levels or rounds of interpretation of your command
> string. The first is applied by the shell that interpets the command
> you mentioned.


C:\Work>cmd /c "ls c:\"
  works, while
C:\Work>bash -c "ls c:\\"
  does not. Why?

> Then the bash invoked by that command interprets the
> argument to the "-c" option. Each of these rounds of interpretation
> replaces "\\" with "\".

The problem is that the first shell (cmd.exe) does not replace "\\" with
"\"! And I have found it in the case where bash is the only shell (see below).

OK, another strange behaviour:

C:\Work>bash -c "c:/cygwin/bin/ls.exe"
C:\Work>bash -c "c:\cygwin\bin\ls.exe"
bash: c:cygwinbinls.exe: command not found
  as expected.
C:\Work>bash -c "c:\\cygwin\\bin\\ls.exe"
bash: c:\cygwin\bin\ls.exe: command not found
C:\Work>bash -c "c:\\\\cygwin\\\\bin\\\\ls.exe"
bash: c:\\cygwin\\bin\\ls.exe: command not found
  expected by me, but not by you :-)

bash does something that is beyond my comprehension...

> If you use "hard" quotes (apostrophes) then you'll only need two backslashes.
> If you use forward slashes (and CMD.exe is not going to be involved),
> then you'll only need quoting to handle spaces and shell globbing
> metacharacters (i.e., '*', '?' or '[') and syntactically significant
> characters (e.g., '(' or ';').

A cannot always use forward slashes. I am trying to make XEmacs/Win32 work
with bash shell. It constructs a command like

bash -c "<command line with back slashes>"

which bash does not like. Obviously, I cannot simply replace all
backslashes with forward ones, because XEmacs also escapes some
metacharacters ...

Hope to hear from you soon,

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