Tuomas Toivonen Tuomas Toivonen - 2 months ago 20
Bash Question

why git branch and $(git branch) outputs different result

I'm trying to make a bash script which will print commits ahead of current branch in other branches. However, when I execute command

git branch
in a subshell, I get not only branch names but also list of files and folders in the current directory. Why calling
$(git branch)
behaves this way?

Answer

It's not the command substitution, it's the quoting. Here is the result of git branch on a repo:

$ git branch
  5-job-test-fails
* master
  revisions
  with_cool_background

Notice the askerisk.

When you write echo $(git branch), since the argument is unquoted, the asterisk will expand to the files in the current directory:

$ echo $(git branch)
5-job-test-fails app bin cable config config.ru db erd.pdf Gemfile Gemfile.lock Guardfile lib log public Rakefile README.rdoc test tmp vendor master revisions with_cool_background

To overcome this, quote the argument:

$ echo "$(git branch)"
  5-job-test-fails
* master
  revisions
  with_cool_background