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The read utility shall read a single line from standard input.

By default, unless the -r option is specified, <backslash> shall act as an escape character. An unescaped <backslash> shall preserve the literal value of the following character, with the exception of a <newline>. If a <new- line> follows the <backslash>, the read utility shall interpret this as line continuation. The <backslash> and <newline> shall be removed before splitting the input into fields. All other unescaped <backslash> characters shall be removed after splitting the input into fields.

If standard input is a terminal device and the invoking shell is interactive, read shall prompt for a continuation line when it reads an input line ending with a <backslash> <newline>, unless the -r option is specified.

The terminating <newline> (if any) shall be removed from the input and the results shall be split into fields as in the shell for the results of parameter expansion (see Section 2.6.5, Field Splitting); the first field shall be assigned to the first variable var, the second field to the second variable var, and so on. If there are fewer fields than there are var operands, the remaining vars shall be set to empty strings. If there are fewer vars than fields, the last var shall be set to a value comprising the following elements:

*  The field that corresponds to the last var in the normal assignment sequence described above
*  The delimiter(s) that follow the field corresponding to the last var
*  The remaining fields and their delimiters, with trailing IFS white space ignored

The setting of variables specified by the var operands shall affect the current shell execution environment; see Section 2.12, Shell Execution Environment. If it is called in a subshell or separate utility execution environ- ment, such as one of the following:

   (read foo)
   nohup read ...
   find . -exec read ... \;

it shall not affect the shell variables in the caller's environment.

Using read

Read can be used to store variables to be used at another time within a BASH one-liner.

   read -ep "What is the item? " FILENAME; wget $FILENAME;