embedded quotes

Feb 23, 2022

The best way to embed a quote in bash is to use the $' syntax:

$ echo $'python -c "print(\'hello\')"'
python -c "print('hello')"

It lets you use C-style escapes, which otherwise don't work. An SO comment says:

Since Bash 2.04 syntax $'string' allows a limit set of escapes.

Since Bash 4.4, $'string' also allows the full set of C-style escapes, making the behavior differ slightly in $'string' in previous versions. (Previously the $('string') form could be used.)

an alternative

If that doesn't work for some reason is to end the string and start another one:

$ echo 'python -c "print('\''hello'\'')"'
python -c "print('hello')"

Here we have three strings, with an escaped quote between them. They are: 'python -c "print(', then a quote, then 'hello', then a quote, then ')"'

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