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Why can't I say "&>&3"? Bug or feature?

From: Tim Friske
Subject: Why can't I say "&>&3"? Bug or feature?
Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2012 11:48:09 +0100

Hi folks,

why is it that I can't say:

exec 3>/dev/null
echo foobar &>&3
# Error: "-bash: syntax error near unexpected token `&'"

but the following works:

echo foobar &>/dev/null
echo foobar >&3 2>&3

I think the succinct notation "&>&N" where N is some numbered file
descriptor should work also. Is this behavior a bug or feature?

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