arg1 operator arg2[
operator arg3... ]
Evaluate arguments as expressions and print the result. Strings can be compared and searched. Arguments and operators must be separated by spaces. In most cases, an argument is an integer, typed literally or represented by a shell variable. There are three types of operators: arithmetic, relational, and logical. Exit status for expr is 0 (expression is nonzero and nonnull), 1 (expression is 0 or null), or 2 (expression is invalid).
Use these to produce mathematical expressions whose results are printed.
Multiply the arguments.
Take the remainder when
arg1 is divided by
Addition and subtraction are evaluated last, unless they are grouped inside parentheses. The symbols *, (, and ) have meaning to the shell, so they must be escaped (preceded by a backslash or enclosed in single quotes).
Use these to compare two arguments. Arguments can also be words, in which case comparisons assume a < z and A < Z. If the comparison statement is true, the result is 1; if false, the result is 0. Symbols > and < must be escaped.
Are the arguments equal?
Are the arguments different?
arg1 greater than
arg1 greater than or equal to
arg1 less than
arg1 less than or equal to
Use these to compare two arguments. Depending on the values,
the result can be
arg1 (or some portion of it),
arg2, or 0.
Symbols | and & must be escaped.
Logical OR; if
arg1 has a non-zero (and non-null) value,
the result is
arg1; otherwise, the result is
Logical AND; if both
arg2 have a non-zero
(and non-null) value, the result is
the result is 0.
Sort of like grep;
arg2 is a pattern to search for in
arg2 must be a regular expression in this case. If the
is enclosed in \( \), the result is the portion of
arg1 that matches;
otherwise, the result is simply the number of characters that match. By
pattern match always applies to the beginning of the first argument (the search
string implicitly begins with a ^). To match other parts of the string,
start the search string with .* .
Division happens first; result is 10:
expr 5 + 10 / 2
Addition happens first; result is 7 (truncated from 7.5):
expr \( 5 + 10 \) / 2
Add 1 to variable i; this is how variables are incremented in shell scripts:
i=`expr $i + 1`
Print 1 (true) if variable a is the string "hello":
expr $a = hello
Print 1 (true) if b plus 5 equals 10 or more:
expr $b + 5 \>= 10
In the examples below, variable p is the string "version.100". This command prints the number of characters in p:
expr $p : '.*'Result is 11
Match all characters and print them:
expr $p : '\(.*\)'Result is "version.100"
Print the number of lowercase letters at the beginning of p:
expr $p : '[a-z]*'Result is 7
Match the lowercase letters at the beginning of p:
expr $p : '\([a-z]*\)'Result is "version"
Truncate $x if it contains five or more characters; if not, just print $x. (Logical OR uses the second argument when the first one is 0 or null; i.e., when the match fails.)
expr $x : '\(.....\)' \| $x
In a shell script, rename files to their first five letters:
mv $x `expr $x : '\(.....\)' \| $x`
(To avoid overwriting files with similar names, use mv -i.)