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ls: avoiding error msg on non-existant file

From: Karl O . Pinc
Subject: ls: avoiding error msg on non-existant file
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 14:33:30 -0600



It would be nice for ls to have an option so that it does not
produce an error when given a non-existant file, similar to
what 'rm -f' does.

I've a script which does an ls on a spool directory,
looking for all files that match a certain pattern.
The ls output is piped to another program.  When no
files match, I get the error:

ls: <pattern>: No such file or directory

I could care less, it just means there's nothing to process.

To keep there error from coming up, I can


or, in my case

if [ ! -e . ] ; then ls pattern ; fi

but niether of these solutions is particularly elegant.
The first throws all errors away, and I want to know if
there are any other errors.  The second assumes that
there will only be files in the directory when the directory
also contains files matching <pattern>.

There's also:

if [ -n "$(ls pattern 2>/dev/null)" ] ; then ls pattern ; fi

but why?

An 'ignore-non-existant-files' option seems cleanest.

:-( bloat, bloat, bloat )

Sorry, I've no suggestion for what to call such an option.
Really sorry, as a good name is 80% of the work.

(I wish I could grep stderr and filter the "No such file or
directory" error, but I don't know how to do this and still
pipe the stdout ls output to another program.  :-(
It would still be ugly, but...

Thanks for all the work.

Karl <address@hidden>
e-tattoo: Ride Hard and Die Free

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