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Removing Files
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23.4 Answer "Yes" or "No" Forever with yes

Some commands - like rm -i, find -ok, and so on - ask users to answer a "do it or not?" question from the keyboard. For example, you might use a file-deleting program named del that asks before deleting each file:

% del *
Remove file1? y
Remove file2? y

If you answer y, then the file will be deleted.

What if you want to run a command that's going to ask you 200 questions and you want to answer y to all of them, but you don't want to type all those y's in from the keyboard? Pipe the output of yes to the command; it will answer y for you:

% yes | del *
Remove file1?
Remove file2?

If you want to answer n to all the questions, you can do:

% yes n | del *

NOTE: Not all UNIX commands read their standard input for answers to prompts. If a command opens your terminal (/dev/tty (45.20)) directly to read your answer, yes won't work. Try expect (9.26) instead.

yes knows how to say more than just y or n. Article 42.7 shows how to test a terminal with yes.

The CD-ROM has GNU's yes.

- JP

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