Execute a command

      exec [-cl] [-a name] [command [arguments]]

      -c   Causes command to be executed with an empty environment.

      -l   Place a dash at the beginning of the zeroth arg passed to command.
           (This is what the login program does.) -a The shell passes name as the zeroth argument to command.

If command is supplied, it replaces the shell without creating a new process. If no command is specified, redirections can be used to affect the current shell environment.

If there are no redirection errors, the return status is zero; otherwise the return status is non-zero.

To run an executable file or a shell script from the command line it is often not necessary to use exec at all, just prefix the filename with .
bash will only search the path not the current working directory for the file.

To execute a program/script in the current working directory use:


You might be tempted to ‘fix’ this by adding ‘.’ to $PATH but this is widely considered to be bad practice for security reasons.
A better plan is putting all shell scripts into a folder and adding that one folder to your $PATH

This is a BASH shell builtin, to display your local syntax from the bash prompt type: help [e]xec

Related linux commands:

exit – Exit the shell
builtin – Run a shell builtin
crontab – Schedule a command to run at a later time
chroot – Run a command with a different root directory
if – Conditionally perform a command
nohup – Run a command immune to hangups
Run a bash script
.source – Run commands from a file
su – Run a command with substitute user and group id
type – Describe a command
watch – Execute/display a program periodically
Equivalent Windows command: START / CMD – Start a new CMD shell

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