xargs -- build and execute command lines from standard input


xargs is as specified in the Single UNIX Specification but with differences as listed below.



has unspecified behavior.


has unspecified behavior.


has unspecified behavior.

LSB Deprecated Differences

The behaviors specified in this section are expected to disappear from a future version of the LSB; applications should only use the non-LSB-deprecated behaviors.

--null, -0

terminates input filenames by a null character instead of by whitespace, and the quotes and backslash are not special (every character is taken literally). Disables the end of file string, which is treated like any other argument. Useful when arguments might contain white space, quote marks, or backslashes. The GNU find -print0 option produces input suitable for this mode.


is equivalent to -e.


uses FORMAT as the format string that controls the output of time.


is equivalent to -l.


is equivalent to -n.


is equivalent to -p.

--no-run-if-empty, -r

does not run this command if the standard input does not contain any nonblanks. Normally, the command is run once even if there is no input.


is equivalent to -s.


is equivalent to -t.


Prints the version number of xargs and exits.


is equivalent to -x.

--max-procs=max-procs, -P max-procs

runs up to max-procs processes at a time; the default is 1. If max-procs is 0, xargs will run as many processes as possible at a time. Use the -n option with -P; otherwise chances are that only one exec will be done.