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Forward arguments in shell

1 min read

For one of my CLIs, I needed to remove the first argument from the argument list and forward the rest to a next process. In this example, my shell script is called cli_process and given arguments arg1, arg2 and arg3, I want to execute forward_process with arg2 and arg3.

#!/usr/bin/env bash

# Documentation on @
# Documentation on shift [n]
# Why quoting the argument is "necessary":

# eats 1 argument
shift 1

# forwards the rest to "forward_process"
forward_process "$@"

Originally posted as a gist, by myself.


Windows .bat files support a similar token: %*, which is equivalent to $@. However, the SHIFT command, unlike the bash equivalent shift, doesn't modify this special token. There are various solutions that will attempt to eat the first n parameters, but all of them have edge-cases in which they don't properly work. Should you need this in windows, I recommend you write out the arguments manually %2, %3 (and skip %1).

Here you can find some Windows solutions, but make sure you check the comments underneath each one: