read - read a line from standard input
/usr/bin/read [-r] var...
set variable = $<
read [ -prsu [n]] [ name ? prompt] [name...]
The read utility will read a single line from standard
By default, unless the -r option is specified, backslash (\)
acts as an escape character. If standard input is a terminal
device and the invoking shell is interactive, read will
prompt for a continuation line when:
o The shell reads an input line ending with a backslash,
unless the -r option is specified.
o A here-document is not terminated after a NEWLINE
character is entered.
The line will be split into fields as in the shell. The
first field will be assigned to the first variable var, the
second field to the second variable var, and so forth. If
there are fewer var operands specified than there are
fields, the leftover fields and their intervening separators
will be assigned to the last var. If there are fewer fields
than vars, the remaining vars will be set to empty strings.
The setting of variables specified by the var operands will
affect the current shell execution environment. If it is
called in a subshell or separate utility execution environ-
ment, such as one of the following:
nohup read ...
find . -exec read ... \;
it will not affect the shell variables in the caller's
The standard input must be a text file.
One line is read from the standard input and, using the
internal field separator, IFS (normally space or tab), to
delimit word boundaries, the first word is assigned to the
first name, the second word to the second name, and so on,
with leftover words assigned to the last name. Lines can be
continued using \newline. Characters other than NEWLINE can
be quoted by preceding them with a backslash. These
backslashes are removed before words are assigned to names,
and no interpretation is done on the character that follows
the backslash. The return code is 0, unless an end-of-file
set variable = $<
loads one line of standard input as the value for variable.
The shell input mechanism. One line is read and is broken up
into fields using the characters in IFS as separators. The
escape character, (\), is used to remove any special meaning
for the next character and for line continuation. In raw
mode, -r, the \ character is not treated specially. The
first field is assigned to the first name, the second field
to the second name, and so on, with leftover fields assigned
to the last name. The -p option causes the input line to be
taken from the input pipe of a process spawned by the shell
using |&. If the -s flag is present, the input will be saved
as a command in the history file. The flag -u can be used
to specify a one digit file descriptor unit n to read from.
The file descriptor can be opened with the exec special com-
mand. The default value of n is 0. If name is omitted, REPLY
is used as the default name. The exit status is 0 unless the
input file is not open for reading or an end-of-file is
encountered. An end-of-file with the -p option causes
cleanup for this process so that another can be spawned. If
the first argument contains a ?, the remainder of this word
is used as a prompt on standard error when the shell is
interactive. The exit status is 0 unless an end-of-file is
The following option is supported:
-r Does not treat a backslash character in any special
way. Considers each backslash to be part of the input
The following operand is supported:
var The name of an existing or non-existing shell vari-
Example 1: An example of the read command
The following example for /usr/bin/read prints a file with
the first field of each line moved to the end of the line:
example% while read -r xx yy
printf "%s %s\n" "$yy" "$xx"
done < input_file
See environ(5) for descriptions of the following environment
variables that affect the execution of read: LANG, LC_ALL,
LC_CTYPE, LC_MESSAGES, and NLSPATH.
IFS Determines the internal field separators used to del-
PS2 Provides the prompt string that an interactive shell
will write to standard error when a line ending with a
backslash is read and the -r option was not specified,
or if a here-document is not terminated after a new-
line character is entered.
The following exit values are returned:
0 Successful completion.
>0 End-of-file was detected or an error occurred.
See attributes(5) for descriptions of the following attri-
| ATTRIBUTE TYPE | ATTRIBUTE VALUE |
| Availability | SUNWcsu |
| Interface Stability | Standard |
csh(1), ksh(1), line(1), set(1), sh(1), attributes(5),
Man(1) output converted with