Linux/Unix: Bash Set Shell Variable Command

in Categories last updated April 24, 2012

How do I set or create variables within my shell script or at command line under Linux and Unix like operating systems?

You can easily create and set variables within a script using the following syntax:


value is assigned to given variable and value must be on right side of = (equal) sign. If value is not given, the variable is assigned the null string. In this example set shell variable called dest to /nas05/backup/full, enter:


To display the value of a variable called dest, enter:

echo "$dest"


echo "${dest}"


printf "%s\n" dest

See also:

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

Share this on (or read 0 comments/add one below):