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ignoring comments in a 'cat' call

From: Tamlyn1978
Subject: ignoring comments in a 'cat' call
Date: Wed, 7 Oct 2009 16:54:04 -0700 (PDT)

I have a file with a list of programs with comments describing what they do,

unison # file syncronisation
grass # gis program

I have a script, which I run as root and includes the command:

address@hidden:~$ aptitude install $(cat programs) -y

where 'programs' is the file with the list of programs. Aptitude does not
ignore the '#' comments, reading them, and the subsequent comment text as
package files.

Is there a way to make 'cat' ignore the comments or is there a better
alternative to cat in this case?

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