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Title: What does >&2 mean in a shell script?
ID: /2019/10/20/What-does-__2-mean-in-a-shell-script_
Created: October 20, 2019    Edited:  October 26, 2019
Upload: November 24, 2022    Layout:  post
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It is simply displaying the message β€œ/blah/blah/: Is directory” to stderr. Also known as Standard Error which is denoted by &2.

Without the &2 messages are displayed on stdout. Also known as Standard Output which is denoted by &1.

More details on displaying messages to &>2 can be found here:

In your command posted, both messages for stdout and stderr will appear on your terminal screen. However some applications will separate the stderr messages and perform special processing.

Most people don’t bother redirecting echo error messages to >&2 but it is technically the correct way of doing things.

For more reading on stdin, stdout and stderr from user or system administrator perspective see:

For a programmers perspective of stdin, stdout, stderr which are &0, &1 and &2 respectively see:

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