I'm trying to print out the users who are currently logged in (each logged in user of each terminal). This is what I currently have:

NOWDATE=$(date +"%Y-%m-%d")
NOWTIME=$(date +"%T")
USERS=$(who | awk -v nd="$NOWDATE"_"$NOWTIME" '{printf nd "\n" " User: "$1" Terminal: "$2" Login: "$3" "$4 "\n"}')

Unfortunately, \n does not work, which means that I can't get a newline after the variable $4. The output doesn't do any new lines. How can I achieve that printf does a new line after the variable $4?

Note: I just perform an echo to list the users, so echo $USERS

1 Answer 1



echo $USERS


echo "$USERS"

On unquoted variables, such as in echo $USERS, the shell performs word splitting. That means that all white space characters, such as newline, are replaced by the first character in IFS (by default: a space). If you want to keep your newlines, use double-quotes.

  • 1
    Thanks! I'm new to linux, so I didn't know that. Perfect answer, it's working fine now :)
    – Rudi
    Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 20:15

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