While attempting to remove all the Ubuntu MATE stuff that got onto my system, fish seemed to reject wildcards for apt-get.

sudo apt-get remove mate-*
fish: No matches for wildcard “mate-*”. See `help expand`.

I have to switch over to bash every time I want to mass remove/install packages. Is there any way to use wildcards in fish for apt-get?

  • When you tap TAB button in you keyboard after typped "...remove mate, what's happens? – Weyder Ferreira May 5 at 14:25

What you are doing here is ambiguous even in bash.

In bash, if the noglob option is not set and mate-* matches one or more files in the current directory, it will be expanded to a list of those files which will be passed as arguments to apt-get remove. Otherwise, it will be passed literally to the apt-get command unless:

  • the failglob option is set, in which case the behavior will be the same as in fish
  • the nullglob option is set, in which case mate-* will be removed altogether

In fish, the behavior appears to be equivalent to bash's failglob, and there does not seem to be an equivalent of bash's set -o noglob or set -f. So you will need to prevent globbing explicitly by quoting, ex.

sudo apt-get remove "mate-*"


sudo apt-get remove mate-"*"

(which you really should be doing in bash, for the reasons outlined above).

See also:

Also be aware that apt has moved away from simple wildcards altogether in favor of aptitude-style patterns - see Problem using wildcard with apt.

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