FreeBSD 7.0 manual page repository

FreeBSD is a free computer operating system based on BSD UNIX originally. Many IT companies, like DeployIS is using it to provide an up-to-date, stable operating system.

apply - apply a command to a set of arguments



      apply - apply a command to a set of arguments


      apply [-a c] [-d] [-#] command argument ...


      The apply utility runs the named command on each argument argument in
      Character sequences of the form “%d” in command, where ‘d’ is a digit
      from 1 to 9, are replaced by the d´th following unused argument.  In this
      case, the largest digit number of arguments are discarded for each execu‐
      tion of command.
      The options are as follows:
      -#      Normally arguments are taken singly; the optional number -# spec‐
              ifies the number of arguments to be passed to command.  If the
              number is zero, command is run, without arguments, once for each
              If any sequences of “%d” occur in command, the -# option is
      -a c    The use of the character ‘%’ as a magic character may be changed
              with the -a option.
      -d      Display the commands that would have been executed, but do not
              actually execute them.


      The following environment variable affects the execution of apply:
      SHELL  Pathname of shell to use.  If this variable is not defined, the
             Bourne shell is used.


      /bin/sh  default shell


      apply echo *
             is similar to ls(1);
      apply -2 cmp a1 b1 a2 b2 a3 b3
             compares the ‘a’ files to the ‘b’ files;
      apply -0 who 1 2 3 4 5
             runs who(1) 5 times; and
      apply ´ln %1 /usr/joe´ *
             links all files in the current directory to the directory


      The apply command appeared in 4.2BSD.


      Rob Pike


      Shell metacharacters in command may have bizarre effects; it is best to
      enclose complicated commands in single quotes (’’).
      The apply utility does not recognize multibyte characters.


Based on BSD UNIX
FreeBSD is an advanced operating system for x86 compatible (including Pentium and Athlon), amd64 compatible (including Opteron, Athlon64, and EM64T), UltraSPARC, IA-64, PC-98 and ARM architectures. It is derived from BSD, the version of UNIX developed at the University of California, Berkeley. It is developed and maintained by a large team of individuals. Additional platforms are in various stages of development.