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4.11 Directories on the Command Line

According to the POSIX standard, files named on the awk command line must be text files; it is a fatal error if they are not. Most versions of awk treat a directory on the command line as a fatal error.

By default, gawk produces a warning for a directory on the command line, but otherwise ignores it. This makes it easier to use shell wildcards with your awk program:

$ gawk -f whizprog.awk *        Directories could kill this program

If either of the --posix or --traditional options is given, then gawk reverts to treating a directory on the command line as a fatal error.

See Extension Sample Readdir, for a way to treat directories as usable data from an awk program.