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When using this ubuntu command:

${HOME}/temp/.git describe --always --tags HEAD 

the output of this command is:


I want to extract 1.5 from the output above and check if it's greater than 1.5 or not.
Is there any solution for this.?

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Why not 0.1.5? The 0 seems relevant... – Oli Mar 27 '14 at 11:37
@Oli I just want to check 0.1.5 is greater than 0.1.5 or not. inclusion of 0 is not matter for me. – Prakash V Holkar Mar 27 '14 at 11:46
What about in the future when it might return something like "v1.1.0-3-p343h3d3" OR "v2.0.7-4-p343h3d3" OR "v10.0.9-5-p343h3d3"? If you ignore the "leading" number (the digit 0 from "v0" in your example), these will look like "1.0", "0.7", and "0.9", so these will all fail your test, even though you will probably want them all to pass your test of being ">=1.5". – Kevin Fegan Mar 27 '14 at 15:30

3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You could do something like

${HOME}/temp/.git describe --always --tags HEAD  | awk ' {
                             match ($0, /[0-9]+\.[0-9]+\.[0-9]+/,m)

This will check the first matching regex result. Just throwing another way to do this, although I'm not sure how much of a practical way this is for you.


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Warning on string comparison: Version 0.1.33 is considered a "lower" version here – Izkata Mar 27 '14 at 16:29
It's an interesting angle but it's not numeric enough to work. echo | awk '{if("0.1.10">"0.1.5"){ print "oh hai" }}' – Oli Mar 28 '14 at 8:39
Of course, numeric comparison on string is not recommended. This is like a quick hack. – rahules Mar 31 '14 at 14:48

Version numbers are actually pretty tough to compare given that they're often not standard mathematical comparisons (this one for instance has two decimal points that makes bc throw up).

Therefore I turn to a lesser-known option in sort that can be used to sort version strings. Consider the following:

$ echo -e "v0.1.5\nv0.1.6-2-p343h3d3" | sort -V

oli@bert:~$ echo -e "v0.1.5\nv0.1.4-2-p343h3d3" | sort -V

This basically means we can sort the versions so the latest is on the last line. All we have to do then is a string comparison against the last line, inside an if, or a shortcutted-if:

[[ $(echo -e "v0.1.5\nv0.1.4-2-p343h3d3" | sort -V | tail -1) != "v0.1.5" ]] && echo NEWER

Play around with the v0.1.4-2-p343h3d3 string. If you stick it up to 0.1.6 it'll echo out.

Now to bring this all back around to your command:

[[ $(echo -e "v0.1.5\n$(${HOME}/temp/.git describe --always --tags HEAD)" | sort -V | tail -1) != "v0.1.5" ]] && echo NEWER

Or you could break it down for readability:

VERSION=$(${HOME}/temp/.git describe --always --tags HEAD)
if [[ $(echo -e "$THRESHOLD\n$VERSION" | sort -V | tail -1) != "$THRESHOLD"  ]]; then
    echo GREATER
share|improve this answer

You could use the following command to exit with a 0 status if the version extracted is greater than 1.5

${HOME}/temp/.git describe --always --tags HEAD | perl -ne '/v\d+\.(\d+\.\d+)/;exit(1) if $1 <= 1.5'
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Updated to match your new version pattern – Sylvain Pineau Mar 27 '14 at 11:38

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