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st: Calling Linux's "cat" command using -shell- in Stata MP 12


From   Richard Herron <richard.c.herron@gmail.com>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   st: Calling Linux's "cat" command using -shell- in Stata MP 12
Date   Mon, 4 Jun 2012 14:30:09 -0400

I am trying to use -shell- in Stata MP 12 to call "cat" in Linux to
concatenate a directory of 800 tab-delimited text files. The
tab-delimited text files all end in _2.txt and should match the wild
card *_2.txt. I tried two variants, which both fail. First I tried:

* begin code
shell cd ~/data/txt/board_ownership
shell cat *_2.txt > board_ownership.txt
* end code

which fails with "cat: *_2.txt: No such file or directory". However,
in the Stata console, if I -shell- to get the command prompt, then I
can successfully issue the "cd" and "cat" commands. I get the same
result if I replace the wild card * with an existing file.

Second I tried

* begin code
shell cat "~/data/txt/board_ownership/*_2.txt" >
"~/data/txt/board_ownership/board_ownership.txt"
* end code

which fails with "/bin/bash:
~/data/txt/board_ownership/board_ownership.txt: No such file or
directory"

Can I automate this from within Stata? Or is this best done explicitly
in the command line?

Thanks!

Richard Herron
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