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I'm using the bash shell in CentOS, version ...

$ uname -a
Linux 3.2.29-48.63.amzn1.x86_64 #1 SMP Sat Sep 15 01:43:12 UTC 2012 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

In my shell script, I want to get part of a string, specifically, everything before the last dash ("-"). So if my string is "my-importer-1.0.ear," I want to extract "my-importer". However, the expression below


is only returning "my", because its matching against the first dash. How can I adjust the expression to match everything up until the last dash?

share|improve this question
Use sed instead? echo my-importer-1.0.ear | sed -re 's/^(.*)-.*$/\1/' – Zoredache Nov 1 '12 at 19:28
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Are you sure you're not using %% which deletes the longest match from the end of the string and thus gives you my whereas a % deletes the shortest match and provides (for you example) what you want

echo ${fname%%-*}


echo ${fname%-*}
share|improve this answer
You're right ... I got confused. Thanks, – Dave Nov 1 '12 at 20:01

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