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

Install RVM with ruby:

$ \curl -L https://get.rvm.io | bash -s stable --ruby

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

So what is the reason?

2 Answers 2


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 (...)
  • 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. Feb 24, 2013 at 7:41
  • 1
    maybe they wanted to prevent unwanted options, with an alias like curl='curl -foo' Feb 27, 2013 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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