globbing

File globbing is a feature provided by the UNIX/Linux shell to represent multiple filenames by using special characters called wildcards with a single file name. A wildcard is essentially a symbol which may be used to substitute for one or more characters. Therefore, we can use wildcards for generating the appropriate combination of file names as per our requirement.

The bash shell provides three characters to use as wildcards:

  • Asterisk (*) to represent 0 or more characters
  • Question mark (?) to represent exactly one character
  • Square brackets ([]) to represent and match for the character enclosed within the square brackets.
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