Linux Command Library


format and print data

- Print a text message:
printf ["%s\n"] ["Hello world"]

- Print an integer in bold blue:
printf ["\e[1;34m%.3d\e[0m\n"] [42]

- Print a float number with the unicode Euro sign:
printf ["\u20AC %.2f\n"] [123.4]

- Print a text message composed with environment variables:
printf ["var1: %s\tvar2: %s\n"] ["$VAR1"] ["$VAR2"]

- Store a formatted message in a variable (does not work on zsh):
printf -v [myvar] ["This is %s = %d\n" "a year" 2016]

printf ,FORMAT /[,ARGUMENT/]... printf ,OPTION/

Print ARGUMENT(s) according to FORMAT, or execute according to OPTION:

display this help and exit
output version information and exit

FORMAT controls the output as in C printf. Interpreted sequences are:

double quote
alert (BEL)
produce no further output
form feed
new line
carriage return
horizontal tab
vertical tab
byte with octal value NNN (1 to 3 digits)
byte with hexadecimal value HH (1 to 2 digits)
Unicode (ISO/IEC 10646) character with hex value HHHH (4 digits)
Unicode character with hex value HHHHHHHH (8 digits)
a single %
ARGUMENT as a string with '\' escapes interpreted, except that octal escapes are of the form \0 or \0NNN
ARGUMENT is printed in a format that can be reused as shell input, escaping non-printable characters with the proposed POSIX $'' syntax.

and all C format specifications ending with one of diouxXfeEgGcs, with ARGUMENTs converted to proper type first. Variable widths are handled.

NOTE: your shell may have its own version of printf, which usually supersedes the version described here. Please refer to your shell's documentation for details about the options it supports.

Written by David MacKenzie.

GNU coreutils online help: <> Report printf translation bugs to <>

Copyright © 2016 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <>. This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.


Full documentation at: <> or available locally via: info '(coreutils) printf invocation'

play store download app store download
Sonnenallee 29, 12047 Berlin, Germany

Privacy policy
Successfully copied