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I'm new to bash. After I've staged files to my local git repository and typed in the commands to commit:

    git commit -m "Descriptive message"

Git (or is it terminal?) stops dead, showing the

    >

symbol. It won't accept further commands and I have to exit the session and start a new one. Why does this happen?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Oct 15 '12 at 18:54

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

3  
Does your message contain double quotes? – choroba Oct 14 '12 at 20:16
    
Yes, it does :) – cmac Oct 14 '12 at 20:45
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Do you use quotes or some other special bash character inside your commit message? Be sure that it is a well-formed string. Try using apostrophes around the message.

The > means bash is waiting for another line of input, so you probably didn't close the commit message properly.

If still stuck, please post the exact command you are using.

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It was indeed double quotes in my string making the command fail. Thank you for explaining the meaning of the > symbol. I will now go learn about escaping characters in bash strings. – cmac Oct 14 '12 at 20:49
    
Look for PS2 in the bash manual. – glenn jackman Oct 15 '12 at 1:32

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