A Linux terminal window on a Ubuntu-themed desktop.

How to Use the Echo Command on Linux

A Linux terminal window on a Ubuntu-themed desktop.
Fatmawati Achmad Zaenuri/Shutterstock

This control lists all of the “. desktop” files in the current directory:

We can use a control with echo and incorporate its output into the string that is written to the terminal window. We must use the buck sign dollar as though the command was a variable, and wrap the whole command in parentheses.

The whereis control reports that echo is actually a binary executable located in the /bin directory site.

What if you want to include a double quote character in your string of text? That’s easy, just put a backslash in front of the double quotation mark (with no space between them).

Whilst not laden down with a multitude of special features, there’s a very good chance that echo has its own capabilities that you just didn’t find out about or that you’d neglected.

A simple command line, but imperative. If it failed to exist, there was have to create it.

You can utilize echo as being a sort of poor man’s adaptation of ls . Your alternatives are few in number when you use echo like this. If you need any kind of fidelity or fine control, most likely better off using ls as well as its legion of options.

echo -e "This is a long line of textnsplit across three linesnwithttabstontthetthirdtline" in a terminal window

echo "My name is Dave and I'm a geek." in a terminal window

echo --version in a terminal window

echo My name is Dave and I'm a geek. in a terminal window

echo * in a terminal window

Zeus was fond of departing Mount Olympus to consort with gorgeous nymphs. On one trip, he told a mountain nymph called Echo to waylay his wife, Hera, in the event that she followed him. Hera did come looking for Zeus, and Indicate did each and every one she may to keep Hera in connection. Finally, Hera lost her temper and cursed poor Echo in order that she simply repeat the past words that someone else acquired said. What Hera have to Zeus when my mom caught up with him is certainly anybody’s think.

The type command lets us know whether the get we bypass to that as its controversy is a covering builtin, a binary exe, an codename, or a function. It reviews to us that echo is a covering builtin.

A variable known as my_name has become created. It has been assigned the cost of the text “Dave. ” We can use the adjustable name in the strings we pass to echo , as well as the value on the variable will be written towards the terminal windowpane. You must place a money sign bucks in front of the varying name to let echo are aware of it is a varying.

If we utilize > > redirection owner, the document is created if this does not can be found. The output by echo is definitely added to the final of the document and would not overwrite any kind of existing content material of the document.

And of course, we are able to include factors to add a few useful details to our document. If the document is a logfile, we might want a timestamp added to that. We can achieve that with the up coming command.

The terminal eyeport displays a > sign and sits now there, waiting. Ctrl+C will pay back you to the command induce. What happened now there?

The a alert identity will make an hearable “bleep. inches It uses the default careful sound to your current template.

To use that version of echo you can need to clearly call it by giving the path for the executable relating to the command line of credit:

echo 'My name is $my_name' in a terminal window

echo -e "123r456" in a terminal window

The -n (no newline) option is not a backslash-escaped pattern, but it really does affect the makeup of the textual content layout, thus we’ll talk about it right here. It stops echo by adding a newline towards the end on the text. The command fast appears straight after the textual content that is crafted to the airport terminal window.

The r carriage return figure causes echo to return to the start of the actual line and write further text right from column nil.

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The b backspace roles move the cursor once again one identity. If there is even more text for being written for the terminal, that text should overwrite the prior character.

The only quote or perhaps apostrophe inside the word “I’m” confused replicate . This interpreted that single insurance quote as the beginning of a cited section of textual content. Because it failed to detect a closing one quote, replicate was expecting more suggestions. It anticipated that further input to include the missing single quotation it was waiting for.

And, satisfied that we’re getting what we expect from the date command, we’ll integrate it into an echo command:

The text is repeated for us. But as you experiment, you’ll soon discover that tasks can get more complicated. Understand this example:

A brand new file is established by the primary command, and text can be inserted in it. The second command line adds a line of textual content to the lower part of the record. The someone command shows the belongings of the record to the port window.

The majority of Linux devices provide two versions of echo . The Party shell possesses its own echo constructed into it, and there’s a binary executable release of replicate as well.

The “123” individuals are overwritten by the “456” characters.

Sure. This isn’t playing to replicate ‘ s strong points. Use ls .

The -e (enable backslash escapes) option allows us to use some backslash-escaped characters to modify the layout of your text. They are the backslash-escaped characters we can use:

Note the single quotation marks around the parameters to get the date command. They prevent the space between the parameters being interpreted as the finish of the parameter list. They ensure the parameters are passed to date correctly.

We can redirect the output from echo and either produce text files or publish into existing text data files.

echo "Creating a new file." > sample.txt in a terminal window

echo "My name is Dave and I'm a "geek."" in a terminal window

echo "Logfile started: $(date +'%D %T')" > logfile.txt in a terminal window

Zeus’s shenanigans have some good, all things considered.

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There is a stipulation. If you’ve draped your thread in sole quote grades echo will take care of everything actually. To have the adjustable value shown, and not the name in the variable, make use of double estimate marks.

The shell builtin doesn’t know what the --version command-line discussion is, it just repeats it in the fatal window:

Relatively aptly, gowns worth duplicating:

To include a single quote within a string, most effective solution is usually to wrap the complete string within just double coverage marks:

/bin/echo --version in a terminal window

We’re going to make use of date command line. One idea is to use the command itself before you start utilizing it with indicate . Like that, if there is a problem with the format of your order, you determine it and correct it prior to you consist of it in the echo order. Then, if the echo order doesn’t do what you expect, you’ll know the issue must be with the indicate syntax mainly because you’ve previously proven the command’s format.

This gloves the word “geek” in twice quote dirt for us. We’ll see associated with these backslash-escaped characters soon enough.

The experiences shown below all use a default variety of indicate , inside the Bash spend.

We can see each of the different variants by using the pursuing commands:

Gift wrapping your text message in twice quote dirt is good standard advice. In scripts, that cleanly delimits the variables you’re passageway to indicate . Can make reading-and debugging-scripts much easier.

echo -e "Herevarevverticalvtabs" in a terminal window

echo -e "123b4" in a terminal window

echo -n "no final newline" in a terminal window

The “3” is over-written by the “4”.

Note the command is definitely inside the parentheses and the money sign bucks is immediately prior to the first parenthesis.

So far, we’ve been writing predefined text towards the terminal windowpane. We can make use of variables with echo to create output that may be more active and features values put into it for all of us by the covering. We can establish a simple adjustable with this command:

echo My name is Dave. in a terminal window

echo -e "Make a bleepa" in a terminal window

The logfile is made for us and cat displays us the fact that datestamp and timestamp were both included with it.

If we use the > redirection owner, the document is created if this does not can be found. If the document does can be found, the output by echo is normally added at the beginning of the data file, overwriting virtually any previous articles.

The text is normally split into a fresh line just where we’ve utilized the n characters and a tab is definitely inserted wherever we’ve utilized the t characters.

This command prospect lists all of the documents and databases in the current service whose term starts with “D”:

echo "Today's date is: $(date +%D)" in a terminal window

Discussing use some of which and see them.

So , do that in the critical window:

This kind of command to do this all of the data and databases in the current service:

To write a basic string of text for the terminal eyeport, type indicate and the line you need it to display:

And this, pretty much, is definitely echo ‘ ersus lot in every area of your life. It repeats what it is told to repeat. This is a simple function, but an important one. With no echo , we would be unable to obtain visible end result from cover scripts, one example is.

type echo in a terminal window

The whereis command word looks for the binary executable, source code, and guy page just for the command word we forward to this as its command-line parameter. It will not look for shell builtins because they don’t have a separate binary executable. They’re an integral part of the Bash executable.

date +%D in a terminal window

The echo command is perfect for writing formatted text to the terminal window. And it doesn’t have to be static text. It can include shell variables, filenames, and directories. You can also redirect echo to create text files and log files. Follow this simple guide to find out how.

As soon as it has found an answer, type can stop looking for even more matches. Therefore it doesn’t show if you will find other orders with the same name within the system. Nonetheless it does show which one this finds initially. And that’s one that will be used automatically when we concern that command.

Like the n new line characters, a vertical tab v moves the text to the line below. But , unlike the n new line characters, the v vertical tab doesn’t start the new line at column zero. It uses the current column.

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