I feel stupid -- determine the full path to a file

Michael L Torrie torriem at chem.byu.edu
Thu Dec 6 10:49:27 MST 2007

I have a script that is passed a filename.  This filename could be
absolute, it could be relative.  I need the script to be able to
determine the pull path to this file.  I've read lots of hacks for doing
this that involve ls, find, and pwd, but none of them do what I need.
If the script was invoked like this,

foo ../bar

then I need foo to be able to get a path that's the real, reduced path,
without any dots in it.  In other words, `pwd`/../bar is not going to

Any tips?

Michael Torrie
Assistant CSR, System Administrator
Chemistry and Biochemistry Department
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602

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