Bash Assign Output of Shell Command To Variable

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How do I assign the output of a shell command to a shell variable under Unix like operating system? For example, I want to store the date command output to a variable called $now. How do you do that? How can I set a variable to the output of a command in Bash?

UNIX / Linux: Increment The Date

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I want to increment the date under UNIX or Linux operating system while writing shell scripts. For example Apr/27/2011 should be incremented as Apr/28/2011 and so on. How do I increment a date in UNIX or Linux shell?