Please tell me why I couldn't print variable value.

# chmod 777 chkscript.sh
# ./chkscript.sh

chkscript.sh file content

variable = "This is variable"

echo "$variable"

echo "Hello World "

Output :

# ./chkscript.sh
./chkscript.sh: line 5: variable: command not found

Hello World

P.S : And sometimes

 variable1 = "/home/files" --- which is location if I try to print nothing gets printed.
 echo "$variable"

2 Answers 2


In shell, spaces are not allowed on either side of the = in a variable assignment.

Try this instead:

variable="This is a variable"

If you leave a space before the =, the shell parses the token before it as a command or function name, which is why you see the "command not found" message.

  • variable="This is variable" echo"$variable" changed like this but no use.Thanks for reply.
    – sunleo
    Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 11:53
  • 1
    You still need the space after echo - if you omit it, the shell expands what's in $variable and then tries to find the command that is called (in this example) echoThis with the arguments is variable. Almost certainly NOT what you want!
    – D_Bye
    Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 11:55
  • 1
    Thanks for the insight on that. I am still learning shell scripting as I go :)
    – ryekayo
    Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 11:56
  • Finally fixed this Thanks you.It is really hard to fix space related thing here.Thanks for all your replys.
    – sunleo
    Commented Jul 2, 2014 at 11:57

I had a similar problem, and I did this:

my_chars='This is test' ;
echo $my_chars


$ ./test_chars.sh
This is test

This works

  • This doesn't really explain what was wrong.
    – X Tian
    Commented Aug 23, 2016 at 13:37

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