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Meaning of INTERNAL FIELD SEPARATORS

 
Computing Dictionary
 
 Definition: 

($IFS) A predefined environment variable in the unix bourne shell whose default value is the three-character string containing space, tab and line feed. Any string of one or more of these characters separates the command and each of its arguments in a command line.

$IFS also tells the shell's built-in read command where to split an input line when reading into multiple variables. E.g. setting IFS=: would be appropriate for reading a file with ':'-separated fields, such as /etc/passwd.

 

 

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