Skip to content

Click on each book below to review & buy on Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

CompTIA Linux+ XK0-005 - 3.1 - Shell Script Elements - Built-in Commands: echo

In shell scripting, the echo command is a commonly used built-in command that prints text or variables to the standard output. It is a versatile command that allows you to display messages, values, or any other information within your scripts. Understanding how to use the echo command is essential for effective script communication. In this guide, we will explore the echo command and its various applications.

Using the echo Command

The basic syntax of the echo command is as follows:

echo [options] [text or variables]
  • options: Additional options that modify the behavior of the echo command. We will cover some commonly used options later in this guide.
  • text or variables: The text or variables to be displayed by the echo command. These can be enclosed in quotes for better formatting.

Printing Text

The primary use case for the echo command is to display text on the standard output. Here's a simple example:


echo "Hello, world!"

In this example, the echo command prints the message "Hello, world!" to the standard output when the script is executed.

Displaying Variables

You can also use the echo command to display the values of variables within your script. Here's an example:


name="John Doe"

echo "Name: $name"
echo "Age: $age"

In this script, the echo command is used to display the values of the name and age variables. The values are substituted within the double quotes using the $ symbol followed by the variable name.

Controlling Output

The echo command provides various options to control the output. Here are a few commonly used options:

  • -n: Suppresses the trailing newline character, allowing you to print text on the same line.
  • -e: Enables the interpretation of backslash escapes, such as \n for a newline or \t for a tab.
  • -E: Disables the interpretation of backslash escapes (useful if you want to display them as literal characters).

Experiment with these options to achieve the desired formatting and output behavior in your scripts.


The echo command is a fundamental tool in shell scripting that allows you to communicate with users, display messages, and show variable values. By incorporating the echo command into your scripts, you can provide feedback, generate informative output, and enhance the user experience.

Remember to utilize quotes when printing text that includes spaces or special characters to ensure proper interpretation. Additionally, consider using options like -n, -e, or -E to customize the output behavior as needed.

Support DTV Linux

Click on each book below to review & buy on Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

NordVPN ®: Elevate your online privacy and security. Grab our Special Offer to safeguard your data on public Wi-Fi and secure your devices. I may earn a commission on purchases made through this link.