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In Installing RVM manual I see a lot of lines starting with '\':

Install RVM with ruby:

$ \curl -L | bash -s stable --ruby

I'd think it is just mistype but they repeat it many times.

So what is the reason?

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up vote 18 down vote accepted

There's no error, it's a little hack to avoid using a curl shell alias if any exists.

This works too :

'curl' (...)
"curl" (...)
/usr/bin/curl (...)
command curl (...)
command -p curl (...)
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That tells what the backslash does, still not why they put it there... is curl often alias'ed? Otherwise you could put it in any manual before every command. – Frank Meulenaar Feb 24 '13 at 7:41
maybe they wanted to prevent unwanted options, with an alias like curl='curl -foo' – sendmoreinfo Feb 27 '13 at 14:39

A command preceded by a slash temporarily disables any aliases for the command.

Bash Shell Temporarily Disable an Alias

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