test − check file types and compare values
Exit with the status determined by EXPRESSION.
display this help and exit
output version information and exit
EXPRESSION defaults to false. Otherwise, EXPRESSION is true
or false and sets exit status. It is one of:
( EXPRESSION )
EXPRESSION is true
EXPRESSION is false
EXPRESSION1 −a EXPRESSION2
both EXPRESSION1 and EXPRESSION2 are true
EXPRESSION1 −o EXPRESSION2
either EXPRESSION1 or EXPRESSION2 is true
the length of STRING is nonzero
equivalent to −n STRING
the length of STRING is zero
STRING1 = STRING2
the strings are equal
STRING1 != STRING2
the strings are not equal
INTEGER1 −eq INTEGER2
INTEGER1 is equal to INTEGER2
INTEGER1 −ge INTEGER2
INTEGER1 is greater than or equal to INTEGER2
INTEGER1 −gt INTEGER2
INTEGER1 is greater than INTEGER2
INTEGER1 −le INTEGER2
INTEGER1 is less than or equal to INTEGER2
INTEGER1 −lt INTEGER2
INTEGER1 is less than INTEGER2
INTEGER1 −ne INTEGER2
INTEGER1 is not equal to INTEGER2
FILE1 −ef FILE2
FILE1 and FILE2 have the same device and inode numbers
FILE1 −nt FILE2
FILE1 is newer (modification date) than FILE2
FILE1 −ot FILE2
FILE1 is older than FILE2
FILE exists and is block special
FILE exists and is character special
FILE exists and is a directory
FILE exists and is a regular file
FILE exists and is set−group−ID
FILE exists and is owned by the effective group ID
FILE exists and is a symbolic link (same as −L)
FILE exists and has its sticky bit set
FILE exists and is a symbolic link (same as −h)
FILE exists and is owned by the effective user ID
FILE exists and is a named pipe
FILE exists and read permission is granted
FILE exists and has a size greater than zero
FILE exists and is a socket
file descriptor FD is opened on a terminal
FILE exists and its set−user−ID bit is set
FILE exists and write permission is granted
FILE exists and execute (or search) permission is granted
Except for −h and −L, all FILE−related tests dereference symbolic links. Beware that parentheses need to be escaped (e.g., by backslashes) for shells. INTEGER may also be −l STRING, which evaluates to the length of STRING.
NOTE: Binary −a and −o are inherently ambiguous. Use ’test EXPR1 && test EXPR2’ or ’test EXPR1 || test EXPR2’ instead.
NOTE: [ honors the −−help and −−version options, but test does not. test treats each of those as it treats any other nonempty STRING.
NOTE: your shell may have its own version of test and/or [, which usually supersedes the version described here. Please refer to your shell’s documentation for details about the options it supports.
Written by Kevin Braunsdorf and Matthew Bradburn.
© 2017 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+:
GNU GPL version 3 or later
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.
or available locally via: info '(coreutils) test invocation'