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What does “%U” mean in Linux command-line?

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In the world of Linux, understanding command-line parameters is crucial to effective system administration. One such parameter that often raises questions is %U. This article will delve into what %U means in the Linux command-line, how it is used, and its significance in the overall Linux environment.

Quick Answer

The %U parameter in the Linux command-line is used in the command of a .desktop file. It signifies that the program can handle a list of URLs or local files as separate arguments. This allows the program to handle multiple selected files or URLs, enhancing efficiency in Linux system administration.

Understanding %U in Linux Command-Line

The %U parameter is typically found in the command of a .desktop file. It is an integral part of the Desktop Entry Specification, which outlines the expected behavior of applications on a Linux desktop.

When %U is used in a command, it signifies that the program can handle a list of URLs or local files as separate arguments. Each URL or file is passed as a separate argument to the executable program. For example, the command gedit %U implies that the text editor gedit can handle multiple selected files or URLs.

The Role of %U in Handling Multiple Arguments

The %U parameter plays a crucial role in how a program handles multiple selected files or URLs. If %U is not specified in the command, it indicates that the program does not know how to handle multiple selected files or URLs. In such cases, dropping files on the program or opening multiple selected objects may not work as expected.

On the other hand, when %U is used, it allows the program to handle multiple selected files or URLs. This is particularly useful in scenarios where you need to open or edit multiple files simultaneously.

Other Parameters in Linux Command-Line

It’s important to note that %U is not the only parameter available in the Linux command-line. There are other parameters such as %u, %f, and %F, each with its unique behavior.

  • %u: This parameter indicates that a separate invocation of the program is needed for each object.
  • %f: This parameter signifies that the program can take a single file as an argument.
  • %F: This parameter means the program can take multiple files as arguments.

For a complete list of possible parameters and their meanings, you can refer to the Desktop Entry Specification – The Exec key.

Conclusion

In summary, the %U parameter in a Linux command-line signifies that the program can accept a list of URLs or local files as separate arguments. It plays a crucial role in how a program handles multiple selected files or URLs. Understanding this and other parameters can significantly enhance your proficiency in Linux system administration. As always, for more complex or program-specific parameters, it is advisable to refer to the specific program’s documentation or help files.

What is the purpose of `%U` in a Linux command-line?

The %U parameter in a Linux command-line signifies that the program can accept a list of URLs or local files as separate arguments.

How does `%U` affect how a program handles multiple selected files or URLs?

When %U is used in the command, it allows the program to handle multiple selected files or URLs. This is particularly useful when you need to open or edit multiple files simultaneously.

Are there any other parameters similar to `%U` in the Linux command-line?

Yes, there are other parameters such as %u, %f, and %F, each with its unique behavior. %u indicates that a separate invocation of the program is needed for each object, %f signifies that the program can take a single file as an argument, and %F means the program can take multiple files as arguments.

Where can I find a complete list of possible parameters and their meanings?

You can refer to the Desktop Entry Specification – The Exec key for a complete list of possible parameters and their meanings.

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