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I am a new user to unix that is trying to do a simple script in bash that will unzip several files in the location that I list. I can't figure out why it keeps crashing. I'm inserting the script below. I hope to later move the old .tar.7z zipped files into another directory (hence my creating the new directory in the script below), but I am just trying to get the main part working first.

# My program to try to unzip several files with ending of tar.7z
# I have inserted the ability to enter the directory where you want this to be done 

echo "What file location is required for unzipping?"

read dirloc

cd $dirloc
mkdir oldzippedfiles
for directory in $dirloc
                [ $directory=*.tar.7z ]
                cat $directory | 7za x -an -txz -si -so | tar -xf -

echo "unzipping of file is complete"

exit 0
share|improve this question

closed as not a real question by terdon, Tog, Dave, Renan, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Mar 5 '13 at 18:10

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

What do you mean by crashing? You have a wrong shebang line is that a typo? What error are you getting? Are you on Unix or Linux? If Linux, which Linux? Why are you using cat? Could you give an example of a directory you want to run this script on? – terdon Mar 5 '13 at 13:01
Sorry, I am on a linux machine. When I mentioned that it was crashing, the terminal window shut down. I was using the cat command to read the contents of the file. So, this leads me to the obvious thing I was doing wrong and that was directory (above) should be replaced with filename - sorry to be so unclear, but I've gotten the script to run. Thanks – user1004856 Mar 5 '13 at 13:16
How did you get it to run? – slhck Mar 5 '13 at 13:22
up vote 2 down vote accepted

There are a lot of errors in your script:

  1. #!~/bash won't work since it's bash that expands ~ to your home directory. You have to specify the full path to bash (usually /bin/bash).

  2. for directory in $dirloc won't work because of two reasons:

    • To go through the files inside $dirloc, you'd need $dirloc/*.

    • You already changed directories, so it has to be plain *.

    Also, since you're looping through files, I suggest renaming your variable.

  3. test ([) doesn't support glob matching.

    Use for file in *.tar.7z instead.

  4. There is no need to use cat. It makes things more difficult, since 7zip can't guess the archive format from the extension. -txz won't work, unless you actually created an .xz file fith a .7z extension (bad practice).

    Use 7za a -so $directory instead.

  5. I'm not sure what the -an switch is supposed to do, but it throws errors and I'm pretty certain it's not needed.

A working version of your script should look like this:


read dirloc

cd $dirloc

for file in *.tar.7z
                7za x -so $file | tar -xf -
share|improve this answer
This is barely legible as a comment. You can post your corrected approach as an answer if it is working. – Dennis Mar 5 '13 at 16:34
thanks, that is really helpful! – user1004856 Mar 5 '13 at 16:35

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