I have a script that adds a new user and creates a virtual host for the users domain name. The script works great with one exception... in /etc/apache2/sites-available/ all of my virtual host files have two copies, one with an e and one without.

I believe my issue lies when I use the SED command. Can I get a second opinion?

Here is the script:

# set the working directory

# request the new domain name
printf "Enter the new domain name, without the www (i.e newdomain.com):\n"
read newdomain

# request the new username
printf "Enter the new username (i.e newusername):\n"
read username

# create the new user
sudo adduser $username

# copy the virtual host to sites-available
sudo cp /templates/domain-vhost /etc/apache2/sites-available/$newdomain

# echo results
echo "Successfully created the virtual host file at: /etc/apache2/sites-available/$newdomain.."

# change the domain name in the virtual host file
sudo sed -ie "s/NEWDOMAINNAME/$newdomain/" /etc/apache2/sites-available/$newdomain

# echo results
echo "Modified the virtual host to reflect the new domain: $newdomain.."

# change the directory path in the virtual host
sudo sed -ie "s/NEWUSERNAME/$username/" /etc/apache2/sites-available/$newdomain

# echo results
echo "Successfully modified the new virtual host file.."

# enable the site with apache
cd /etc/apache2/sites-available/
sudo a2ensite $newdomain

# echo results
echo "Successfully enabled the $newdomain.."

# change to previous working directory
cd $dir

# reload apache
sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 reload

# notify user of action
echo "Finished creating the new domain, $newdomain, and restarted Apache.."
  • 3
    Sorry, after typing that I realized my mistake, when using the SED command I had the -i option to edit the file "inline" without creating the copy. For some reason I added the e command as well, which is supposed to add the script. I changed the -ie to -i and the script works as needed. I cannot answer my own question yet so I added a comment. Jul 4, 2011 at 17:44

1 Answer 1


You need separate -i and -e arguments to sed. -ie is telling sed to create a backup file with an 'e' appended.

manual entry for <code>-i</code>

To fix, just replace the sed invocation above to:

sudo sed -i -e "s/NEWUSERNAME/$username/" /etc/apache2/sites-available/$newdomain
  • Although you've got a comment with this, I've adding the details as an answer for completeness. Jul 5, 2011 at 2:40
  • When I first read this answer I understood what it was saying but didn't immediately grasp why the e was being taken as the suffix. I then checked the manual page and realized the i takes an optional argument. It makes this answer obvious in retrospect but it took me a second to understand the why (hence the image add). Mar 8, 2019 at 21:58

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