Oct 24, 2023 3 min read

Bash Concatenate Strings

Concatenate strings in bash with our step-by-step tutorial. Concatenating strings means adding one string to the end of another in programming.

Bash Concatenate Strings
Table of Contents

Introduction

Before we discuss Bash concatenate strings, let's briefly understand-What is Concatenation ?

Concatenation is one of the most often utilized string operations. String concatenation is a programming term for combining strings by adding one string to the end of another.

In Bash, concatenating strings allows you to combine multiple strings into a single string. This operation is useful for manipulating text, creating dynamic output, or constructing file paths. Bash provides multiple methods to concatenate strings, including string interpolation, command substitution, and built-in string manipulation functions.

In this tutorial, we'll show you how to concatenate strings in Bash. We will also address a few FAQs on Bash Concatenate Strings.

Concatenating Strings

Concatenating two or more string variables is as simple as writing them one after the other:

VAR1="Hello,"
VAR2=" World"
VAR3="$VAR1$VAR2"
echo "$VAR3"

The concatenated string will be echoed in the final line:

Output

Hello, World

You can also use literal strings to concatenate one or more variables:

VAR1="Hello, "
VAR2="${VAR1}World"
echo "$VAR2"
Output

Hello, World

To shield the variable name from surrounding characters, variable VAR1 is surrounded in curly brackets in the example above. You must wrap the variable in curly braces $VAR1 if it is followed by another valid variable-name character.

Always try to use double quotes around the variable name to avoid any word splitting or globbing difficulties. Instead of double quotes, use single quotes to disable variable interpolation and specific treatment of the backslash character.

Variables are not separated by "type" in Bash; depending on the context, variables are interpreted as integers or strings. Variables with simple numbers can also be concatenated.

VAR1="Hello, "
VAR2=2
VAR3=" Worlds"
VAR4="$VAR1$VAR2$VAR3"
echo "$VAR4"
Output

Hello, 2 Worlds

Concatenating Strings with the += Operator

Another approach to concatenate strings in bash is to use the += operator to attach variables or literal strings to a variable:

VAR1="Hello, "
VAR1+=" World"
echo "$VAR1"
Output

Hello, World

In bash, the += operator is used to concatenate strings in the following example:

VAR=""
for ELEMENT in 'Hydrogen' 'Helium' 'Lithium' 'Beryllium'; do
  VAR+="${ELEMENT} "
done

echo "$VAR"
Output

Hydrogen Helium Lithium Beryllium

FAQs on Bash Concatenate Strings

What does it mean to concatenate strings in Bash?

Concatenating strings in Bash means combining multiple strings together to create a larger string.

Can I concatenate strings dynamically during script execution?

Yes, you can concatenate strings dynamically during script execution by combining variables, literals, and appropriate concatenation methods.

Are there any functions in Bash for string manipulation or concatenation?

Yes, Bash provides various built-in string manipulation functions such as concat, substr, length, index, and more. You can use these functions to perform complex string manipulations, including concatenation.

Can I concatenate strings using an array in Bash?

Yes, you can concatenate strings using an array in Bash by accessing the array elements and concatenating them together.

Are there any limitations to string concatenation in Bash?

There are no specific limitations to string concatenation in Bash. However, be mindful of any special characters or whitespace that may affect the concatenation result.


Can I concatenate strings across multiple lines?

Yes, you can concatenate strings across multiple lines by continuing the line with a backslash \ character.

Where can I find more information about string concatenation in Bash?

You can refer to the Bash manual (man bash) for more information on string concatenation, string manipulation functions, and related topics. Online resources and forums dedicated to Bash scripting are also valuable sources of information.

Conclusion

Concatenating string variables is one of the most basic Bash scripting procedures. You should have a decent knowledge of how to concatenate strings in Bash after reading this tutorial. You might also look at our comparison string guide.

If you have any queries, please leave a comment below and we’ll be happy to respond to them.

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