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APPLY(1) General Commands Manual APPLY(1)

apply a command to a set of arguments

apply [
] [
] [
-a magic
] command argument ...

apply runs the named command on each given argument in turn.
Character sequences of the form “%d” in command, where ‘d’ is a digit from 1 to 9, are replaced by the d'th following unused argument. In this case, the largest digit number of arguments are discarded for each execution of command.
The options are as follows:
Normally arguments are taken singly; the optional number -# specifies the number of arguments to be passed to command. If the number is zero, command is run, without arguments, once for each argument.
If any sequences of “%d” occur in command, the -# option is ignored.
Use magic as the magic character instead of the default ‘%’.
Debug mode. Print commands to the standard output but do not actually execute them.

Pathname of shell to use. If this variable is not defined, the Bourne shell is used.

default shell

Operate similar to ls(1):
$ apply echo *
Compare the a* files to the b* files:
$ apply -2 cmp a1 b1 a2 b2 a3 b3
Run who(1) five times:
$ apply -0 who 1 2 3 4 5
Link all files in the current directory to the directory /home/joe:
$ apply 'ln %1 /home/joe' *

sh(1), xargs(1)

The apply command appeared in 4.2BSD.

Rob Pike

Shell metacharacters in command may have bizarre effects; it is best to enclose complicated commands in single quotes ('').
September 8, 2014 OpenBSD-current