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printf - format and print data


printf OPTION


Print ARGUMENT(s) according to FORMAT.

--help display this help and exit

output version information and exit

FORMAT controls the output as in C printf. Interpreted sequences are:

double quote

character with octal value NNN (1 to 3 digits)


alert (BEL)


produce no further output

form feed

new line

carriage return

horizontal tab

vertical tab

byte with hexadecimal value HH (1 to 2 digits)

\uHHHH Unicode (ISO/IEC 10646) character with hex value HHHH (4 digits)

Unicode character with hex value HHHHHHHH (8 digits)

a single %

%b ARGUMENT as a string with ‘\’ escapes interpreted,

except that octal escapes are of the form \0 or \0NNN

and all C format specifications ending with one of diouxXfeEgGcs, with ARGUMENTs converted to proper type first. Variable widths are handled.

NOTE: your shell may have its own version of printf, which usually supersedes the version described here. Please refer to your shell’s documentation for details about the options it supports.


Written by David MacKenzie.

Reporting Bugs

Report bugs to <>.


Copyright (C) 2006 Free Software Foundation, Inc. This is free software. You may redistribute copies of it under the terms of the GNU General Public License <>. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.

See Also

The full documentation for printf is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the info and printf programs are properly installed at your site, the command

info printf

should give you access to the complete manual.

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