Shell puzzle 2

1:41 pm General

Following on from this shell script puzzle here’s another.

Why does the following script give this error?

sh: Illegal option –

(Credit to Kevin Lyda of ILUG for the puzzle and its truly twisted answer).

#! /bin/sh -e -x


Note that #! /bin/sh -e, #! /bin/sh -x and #! /bin/sh -ex run without error.

6 Responses

  1. Raphaƫl Quinet Says:

    Your script could work on some Unix variants such as BSDi, older FreeBSDs or Minix.

    Some hints can be found in the following table:

  2. fraggle Says:

    I think that #! only allows you to specify one additional parameter?

  3. Scott Robinson Says:

    Because all text after the initial interpreter name is passed in the first argument.

    $ /bin/sh “-e -x”

  4. m Says:

    It runs here (Solaris) fine without error:

    ~ $ cat /tmp/
    #!/bin/sh -e -x

    ~ $ /tmp/
    ~ $

    Linux issue?

  5. Marius Gedminas Says:

    Try this instead:

    set -e -x

    It will work on all Unixes, and it will work when you run the script with ‘sh’.

  6. Rudd-O Says:

    Marius: he’s asking a riddle, not wondering why the script fails. Scott got the answer.