file is command and filename expanded and then tested to see if it has the specified relationship to the real user. If file does not exist or is inaccessible or, for the operators indicated by `*', if the specified file type does not exist on the current system, then all enquiries return false, i.e. `0'.
These operators may be combined for conciseness: `-xy file' is equivalent to `-x file && -y file'. (+) For example, `-fx' is true (returns `1') for plain executable files, but not for directories.
L may be used in a multiple-operator test to apply subsequent operators to a symbolic link rather than to the file to which the link points. For example, `-lLo' is true for links owned by the invoking user. Lr, Lw and Lx are always true for links and false for non-links. L has a different meaning when it is the last operator in a multiple-operator test; see below.
It is possible but not useful, and sometimes misleading, to combine operators which expect file to be a file with operators which do not, (e.g. X and t). Following L with a non-file operator can lead to particularly strange results.
Other operators return other information, i.e. not just `0' or `1'. (+) They have the same format as before; op may be one of
Only one of these operators may appear in a multiple-operator test, and it must be the last. Note that L has a different meaning at the end of and elsewhere in a multiple-operator test. Because `0' is a valid return value for many of these operators, they do not return `0' when they fail: most return `-1', and F returns `:'.
If the shell is compiled with POSIX defined (see the version shell variable), the result of a file inquiry is based on the permission bits of the file and not on the result of the access(2) system call. For example, if one tests a file with -w whose permissions would ordinarily allow writing but which is on a file system mounted read-only, the test will succeed in a POSIX shell but fail in a non-POSIX shell.
File inquiry operators can also be evaluated with the filetest builtin command (q.v.) (+).
Up Next Previous