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I have been teaching myself bash scripting and have run into an issue. I have written a script to take input from the user, using the 'read' command, and make that input a variable to use later in the script. The script works, but....

I would like to be able to get it setup using 'dialog'. I found out that

'dialog --inputbox' will direct the output to 'stderr' and in order to get that input as a variable you have to direct it to a file and then retrieve it. The code I found to explain this is:

dialog --inputbox \

"What is your username?" 0 0 2> /tmp/inputbox.tmp.$$


input=`cat /tmp/inputbox.tmp.$$`

rm -f /tmp/inputbox.tmp.$$

case $retval in

echo "Your username is '$input'";;

echo "Cancel pressed.";;


I see that it is sending the sdterr to the /tmp/inputbox.tmp.$$ with 2>, but the output file looks like 'inputbox.tmp.21661'. When I try and cat the file it gives me an error. So I am still unable to get the user input from the --inputbox as a variable.

Example Script:

echo "  What app would you like to remove? "

read dead_app

sudo apt-get remove --purge $dead_app

So as you can see it is a basic script. Is it even possible to get the variable as a word from dialog --inputbox?

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Could you post the error you got? – Sneetsher Jul 4 '14 at 8:08

1 Answer 1

:D I can't explain it!!! If you can understand what they are saying in Advanced Bash-Scripting Guide: Chapter 20. I/O Redirection, write a new answer and I will give you 50rep:

exec 3>&1;
result=$(dialog --inputbox test 0 0 2>&1 1>&3);
exec 3>&-;
echo $result $exitcode;

Reference: Dialog in bash is not grabbing variables correctly

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