Command line calculator

calc() { python -c "from math import *; print $1"; }
This function defines a command line calculator that handles everything pythons math module can handle, e.g. trigonometric functions, sqrt, log, erf, ... (see It even knows about the constants pi and e.
Sample Output
> calc "sin(pi/3.0)**2"
> calc "log(e)"

By: asmaier
2010-10-07 08:26:39

5 Alternatives + Submit Alt

What Others Think

calc 3 +4 3 it must be print $*
hemanth · 606 weeks and 1 day ago
Look for the sample output. You can see, that you are supposed to give the arguments in quotes! > calc "3 +4" 7
asmaier · 606 weeks and 1 day ago
@hemanth: Using $* does make some calculations easier. But if you're going to do multiplication, you'll need the wrap the whole expression (or the parts with '*' in them) in quotes. Otherwise, bash will expand the star and python will get confused.
aporter · 606 weeks and 1 day ago

What do you think?

Any thoughts on this command? Does it work on your machine? Can you do the same thing with only 14 characters?

You must be signed in to comment.

What's this? is the place to record those command-line gems that you return to again and again. That way others can gain from your CLI wisdom and you from theirs too. All commands can be commented on, discussed and voted up or down.

Share Your Commands

Stay in the loop…

Follow the Tweets.

Every new command is wrapped in a tweet and posted to Twitter. Following the stream is a great way of staying abreast of the latest commands. For the more discerning, there are Twitter accounts for commands that get a minimum of 3 and 10 votes - that way only the great commands get tweeted.


Subscribe to the feeds.

Use your favourite RSS aggregator to stay in touch with the latest commands. There are feeds mirroring the 3 Twitter streams as well as for virtually every other subset (users, tags, functions,…):

Subscribe to the feed for: