UNIX in a Nutshell: System V Edition

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UNIX Commands
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basename pathname [suffix]

Given a pathname, strip the path prefix and leave just the filename, which is printed on standard output. If specified, a filename suffix (e.g., .c) is removed also. basename is typically invoked via command substitution (` `) to generate a filename. See also dirname.


Given the following fragment from a Bourne shell script:

prog_name="`basename $0`"
echo "$prog_name: QUITTING: can't open $ofile"/
     1>&2 ; exit 1

If the script is called do_it, then the following message would be printed on standard error:

do_it: QUITTING: can't open output_file

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