5 Practical Examples of ‘echo’ command in Linux

echo is one of the most commonly and widely used built-in command for Linux bash and C shells, that typically used in scripting language and batch files to display a line of text/string on standard output or a file.

The syntax for echo is:

echo 
[option(s)] [string(s)]

1. Input a line of text and display on standard output

$ echo Tecmint is a community of Linux Nerds 

Outputs the following text:

Tecmint is a community of Linux Nerds 

2. Declare a variable and echo its value. For example, Declare a variable of x and assign its value=10.

$ x=10

echo its value:

$ echo The value of variable x = $x 

The value of variable x = 10 

Note: The ‘-e‘ option in Linux acts as interpretation of escaped characters that are backslashed.

3. Using option ‘\b‘ – backspace with backslash interpretor ‘-e‘ which removes all the spaces in between.

$ echo -e "Tecmint \bis \ba \bcommunity \bof \bLinux \bNerds" 

TecmintisacommunityofLinuxNerds 

4. Using option ‘\n‘ – New line with backspace interpretor ‘-e‘ treats new line from where it is used.

$ echo -e "Tecmint \nis \na \ncommunity \nof \nLinux \nNerds" 

Tecmint 
is 
a 
community 
of 
Linux 
Nerds 

5. Using option ‘\t‘ – horizontal tab with backspace interpretor ‘-e‘ to have horizontal tab spaces.

$ echo -e "Tecmint \tis \ta \tcommunity \tof \tLinux \tNerds" 

Tecmint 	is 	a 	community 	of 	Linux 	Nerds 

6. How about using option new Line ‘\n‘ and horizontal tab ‘\t‘ simultaneously.

$ echo -e "\n\tTecmint \n\tis \n\ta \n\tcommunity \n\tof \n\tLinux \n\tNerds" 

	Tecmint 
	is 
	a 
	community 
	of 
	Linux 
	Nerds 

7. Using option ‘\v‘ – vertical tab with backspace interpretor ‘-e‘ to have vertical tab spaces.

$ echo -e "\vTecmint \vis \va \vcommunity \vof \vLinux \vNerds" 

Tecmint 
        is 
           a 
             community 
                       of 
                          Linux 
                                Nerds 

8. How about using option new Line ‘\n‘ and vertical tab ‘\v‘ simultaneously.

$ echo -e "\n\vTecmint \n\vis \n\va \n\vcommunity \n\vof \n\vLinux \n\vNerds" 


Tecmint 

is 

a 

community 

of 

Linux 

Nerds 

Note: We can double the vertical tab, horizontal tab and new line spacing using the option two times or as many times as required.

9. Using option ‘\r‘ – carriage return with backspace interpretor ‘-e‘ to have specified carriage return in output.

$ echo -e "Tecmint \ris a community of Linux Nerds" 

is a community of Linux Nerds 

10. Using option ‘\c‘ – suppress trailing new line with backspace interpretor ‘-e‘ to continue without emitting new line.

$ echo -e "Tecmint is a community \cof Linux Nerds" 

Tecmint is a community avi@tecmint:~$ 

11. Omit echoing trailing new line using option ‘-n‘.

$ echo -n "Tecmint is a community of Linux Nerds" 
Tecmint is a community of Linux Nerdsavi@tecmint:~/Documents$ 

12. Using option ‘\a‘ – alert return with backspace interpretor ‘-e‘ to have sound alert.

$ echo -e "Tecmint is a community of \aLinux Nerds" 
Tecmint is a community of Linux Nerds

Note: Make sure to check Volume key, before firing.

13. Print all the files/folder using echo command (ls command alternative).

$ echo * 

103.odt 103.pdf 104.odt 104.pdf 105.odt 105.pdf 106.odt 106.pdf 107.odt 107.pdf 108a.odt
108.odt 108.pdf 109.odt 109.pdf 110b.odt 110.odt 110.pdf 111.odt 111.pdf 112.odt 112.pdf
 113.odt linux-headers-3.16.0-customkernel_1_amd64.deb linux-image-3.16.0-customkernel_1_amd64.deb network.jpeg 

14. Print files of a specific kind. For example, let’s assume you want to print all ‘.jpeg‘ files, use the following command.

$ echo *.jpeg 

network.jpeg 

15. The echo can be used with redirect operator to output to a file and not standard output.

$ echo "Test Page" > testpage 

## Check Content
avi@tecmint:~$ cat testpage 
Test Page 
echo Options
 Options  Description
 -n  do not print the trailing newline.
 -e  enable interpretation of backslash escapes.
 \b  backspace
 \\  backslash
 \n  new line
 \r  carriage return
 \t  horizontal tab
 \v  vertical tab

Source: 15 practical examples of echo command in linux