begin - start a new block of code


begin; [COMMANDS ...]; end


begin is used to create a new block of code.

A block allows the introduction of a new variable scope, redirection of the input or output of a set of commands as a group, or to specify precedence when using the conditional commands like and.

The block is unconditionally executed. begin; ...; end is equivalent to if true; ...; end.

begin does not change the current exit status itself. After the block has completed, $status will be set to the status returned by the most recent command.

The -h or --help option displays help about using this command.


The following code sets a number of variables inside of a block scope. Since the variables are set inside the block and have local scope, they will be automatically deleted when the block ends.

    set -l PIRATE Yarrr


echo $PIRATE
# This will not output anything, since the PIRATE variable
# went out of scope at the end of the block

In the following code, all output is redirected to the file out.html.

    echo $xml_header
    echo $html_header
    if test -e $file
end > out.html