# expr - Man Page

evaluate expressions

## Examples (TL;DR)

- Get the length of a specific string:
`expr length "`

`string`" - Get the substring of a string with a specific length:
`expr substr "`

`string`"`from``length` - Match a specific substring against an anchored pattern:
`expr match "`

`string`" '`pattern`' - Get the first char position from a specific set in a string:
`expr index "`

`string`" "`chars`" - Calculate a specific mathematic expression:
`expr`

`expression1``+|-|*|/|%``expression2` - Get the first expression if its value is non-zero and not null otherwise get the second one:
`expr`

`expression1`\|`expression2` - Get the first expression if both expressions are non-zero and not null otherwise get zero:
`expr`

`expression1`\&`expression2`

## Synopsis

**expr** *EXPRESSION***expr** *OPTION*

## Description

- --help
display this help and exit

- --version
output version information and exit

Print the value of EXPRESSION to standard output. A blank line below separates increasing precedence groups. EXPRESSION may be:

- ARG1 | ARG2
ARG1 if it is neither null nor 0, otherwise ARG2

- ARG1 & ARG2
ARG1 if neither argument is null or 0, otherwise 0

- ARG1 < ARG2
ARG1 is less than ARG2

- ARG1 <= ARG2
ARG1 is less than or equal to ARG2

- ARG1 = ARG2
ARG1 is equal to ARG2

- ARG1 != ARG2
ARG1 is unequal to ARG2

- ARG1 >= ARG2
ARG1 is greater than or equal to ARG2

- ARG1 > ARG2
ARG1 is greater than ARG2

- ARG1 + ARG2
arithmetic sum of ARG1 and ARG2

- ARG1 - ARG2
arithmetic difference of ARG1 and ARG2

- ARG1 * ARG2
arithmetic product of ARG1 and ARG2

- ARG1 / ARG2
arithmetic quotient of ARG1 divided by ARG2

- ARG1 % ARG2
arithmetic remainder of ARG1 divided by ARG2

- STRING : REGEXP
anchored pattern match of REGEXP in STRING

- match STRING REGEXP
same as STRING : REGEXP

- substr STRING POS LENGTH
substring of STRING, POS counted from 1

- index STRING CHARS
index in STRING where any CHARS is found, or 0

- length STRING
length of STRING

- + TOKEN
interpret TOKEN as a string, even if it is a

keyword like 'match' or an operator like '/'

- ( EXPRESSION )
value of EXPRESSION

Beware that many operators need to be escaped or quoted for shells. Comparisons are arithmetic if both ARGs are numbers, else lexicographical. Pattern matches return the string matched between \( and \) or null; if \( and \) are not used, they return the number of characters matched or 0.

Exit status is 0 if EXPRESSION is neither null nor 0, 1 if EXPRESSION is null or 0, 2 if EXPRESSION is syntactically invalid, and 3 if an error occurred.

## Author

Written by Mike Parker, James Youngman, and Paul Eggert.

## Reporting Bugs

GNU coreutils online help: <https://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/>

Report any translation bugs to <https://translationproject.org/team/>

## Copyright

Copyright © 2024 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later <https://gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html>.

This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.

## See Also

Full documentation <https://www.gnu.org/software/coreutils/expr>

or available locally via: info '(coreutils) expr invocation'