# FreeBSD Manual Pages

home | helpEXPR(1) FreeBSD General Commands Manual EXPR(1)NAMEexpr-- evaluate expressionSYNOPSISexpr[-e]expressionDESCRIPTIONTheexprutility evaluatesexpressionand writes the result on standard output. All operators and operands must be passed as separate arguments. Several of the operators have special meaning to command interpreters and must therefore be quoted appropriately. All integer operands are interpreted in base 10. Arithmetic operations are performed using signed integer math. If the-eflag is specified, arithmetic uses the Cintmax_tdata type (the largest integral type available), andexprwill detect arithmetic overflow and return an error indication. If a numeric operand is specified which is so large as to overflow conversion to an integer, it is parsed as a string instead. If-eis not specified, arithmetic operations and pars- ing of integer arguments will overflow silently according to the rules of the C standard, using thelongdata type. Operators are listed below in order of increasing precedence; all are left-associative. Operators with equal precedence are grouped within { } symbols.expr1|expr2Return the evaluation ofexpr1if it is neither an empty string nor zero; otherwise, returns the evaluation ofexpr2.expr1&expr2Return the evaluation ofexpr1if neither expression evaluates to an empty string or zero; otherwise, returns zero.expr1{=, >, >=, <, <=, !=}expr2Return the results of integer comparison if both arguments are integers; otherwise, returns the results of string comparison using the locale-specific collation sequence. The result of each comparison is 1 if the specified relation is true, or 0 if the relation is false.expr1{+, -}expr2Return the results of addition or subtraction of integer-valued arguments.expr1{*, /, %}expr2Return the results of multiplication, integer division, or remainder of integer-valued arguments.expr1:expr2The ``:'' operator matchesexpr1againstexpr2, which must be a basic regular expression. The regular expression is anchored to the beginning of the string with an implicit ``^''. If the match succeeds and the pattern contains at least one regu- lar expression subexpression ``\(...\)'', the string correspond- ing to ``\1'' is returned; otherwise the matching operator returns the number of characters matched. If the match fails and the pattern contains a regular expression subexpression the null string is returned; otherwise 0. Parentheses are used for grouping in the usual manner. Theexprutility makes no lexical distinction between arguments which may be operators and arguments which may be operands. An operand which is lexically identical to an operator will be considered a syntax error. See the examples below for a work-around. The syntax of theexprcommand in general is historic and inconvenient. New applications are advised to use shell arithmetic rather thanexpr.CompatibilitywithpreviousimplementationsUnless FreeBSD 4.x compatibility is enabled, this version ofexpradheres to the POSIX Utility Syntax Guidelines, which require that a leading argument beginning with a minus sign be considered an option to the pro- gram. The standard--syntax may be used to prevent this interpretation. However, many historic implementations ofexpr, including the one in pre- vious versions of FreeBSD, will not permit this syntax. See the examples below for portable ways to guarantee the correct interpretation. The check_utility_compat(3) function (with autilityargument of ``expr'') is used to determine whether compatibility mode should be enabled. This feature is intended for use as a transition and debugging aid, whenexpris used in complex scripts which cannot easily be recast to avoid the non-portable usage. Enabling compatibility mode also implicitly enables the-eoption, since this matches the historic behavior ofexprin FreeBSD. For historical reasons, defining the environment variable EXPR_COMPAT also enables compatibility mode.ENVIRONMENTEXPR_COMPAT If set, enables compatibility mode.EXAMPLES+oThe following example (in sh(1) syntax) adds one to the variablea: a=$(expr $a + 1)+oThis will fail if the value ofais a negative number. To protect negative values ofafrom being interpreted as options to theexprcommand, one might rearrange the expression: a=$(expr 1 + $a)+oMore generally, parenthesize possibly-negative values: a=$(expr \( $a \) + 1)+oThis example prints the filename portion of a pathname stored in variablea. Sinceamight represent the path/, it is necessary to prevent it from being interpreted as the division operator. The // characters resolve this ambiguity. expr "//$a" : '.*/\(.*\)' The following examples output the number of characters in variablea. Again, ifamight begin with a hyphen, it is necessary to prevent it from being interpreted as an option toexpr.+oIf theexprcommand conforms to IEEE Std 1003.1-2001 (``POSIX.1''), this is simple: expr -- "$a" : ".*"+oFor portability to older systems, however, a more complicated command is required: expr \( "X$a" : ".*" \) - 1DIAGNOSTICSTheexprutility exits with one of the following values: 0 the expression is neither an empty string nor 0. 1 the expression is an empty string or 0. 2 the expression is invalid.SEE ALSOsh(1), test(1), check_utility_compat(3)STANDARDSTheexprutility conforms to IEEE Std 1003.1-2001 (``POSIX.1''), provided that compatibility mode is not enabled. The-eflag is an extension. FreeBSD 11.1 July 12, 2004 FreeBSD 11.1

NAME | SYNOPSIS | DESCRIPTION | ENVIRONMENT | EXAMPLES | DIAGNOSTICS | SEE ALSO | STANDARDS

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