I have executed below command

cat /proc/loadavg && date

Actual Result:

0.00 0.00 0.00 1/803 26256
Fri Aug 26 09:00:56 EEST 2016

Expected Result:

0.00 0.00 0.00 1/803 26256 @@ Fri Aug 26 09:00:56 EEST 2016

I have tried sed and tr , but didn't work.

cat /proc/loadavg && date | sed 's/\n/ @@ /g'

cat /proc/loadavg && date | tr '\n' ' @@ '

Any idea, what I am missing?

  • I think sed removes the \n before it loads the line in the pattern space , then puts it back when it prints the pattern space to output, so you cant do a substtution on it in sed. Aug 26, 2016 at 7:00
  • 1
    just got a strike, based on answers, echo "`cat /proc/loadavg` @@ `date`".
    – Spike
    Aug 26, 2016 at 8:47

7 Answers 7


Your best bet is to use printf. You have two strings and you want to output them with some additional formatting. That's exactly what printf does.

$ printf "%s @@ %s\n" "$(cat /proc/loadavg)" "$(date)"

Your tr attempt does not work since tr modifies characters, not words. You could use it to replace the newlines with one single character though:

$ ( cat /proc/loadavg; date ) | tr '\n' '@'

... but it doesn't do quite what you need.

Your sed attempt does not work since the newline is stripped from the input to sed (i.e. sed -n '/\n/p' inputfile would never print anything).

You could still do it with sed if you read the second line (from date) with the N editing command while editing the first line (which will place a newline between them):

$ ( cat /proc/loadavg; date ) | sed 'N;s/\n/ @@ /'

... but I would personally prefer the printf solution.


You can do this:

echo `cat /proc/loadavg` @@ `date`
  • There are plenty of good answers already and yours has a bug causing @@ to show up between each word. Aug 26, 2016 at 16:30
  • Fixed by removing xargs and printf complexity. Aug 26, 2016 at 16:58
  • 1
    Now that is a good simple solution. :) Aug 26, 2016 at 17:09

Like this:

( cat /proc/loadavg && date ) | sed 'N; s/\n/ @@ /'

First, your attempts don't work because the pipe | applies only to date, not no both command. To work around that you need to run cat ... && date in a subshell, and then redirect the subshell's stdout.

Then tr '\n' ' @@ ' doesn't work because you can't replace a character with multiple characters.

And sed 's/\n/ @@ /g' doesn't work because sed only gets to see lines one at a time. To get it to see newlines you need to merge both lines of input in the same buffer. Which is what N does above.

  • 4
    this worked for me. to expand a little more on sed's N command. n prints the pattern space to output and pulls the next line into the pattern space - like sed would have done anyway. The N command pulls the next line into the pattern space but doesn't print the pattern, so you end up with both lines in the pattern space, which is why the substitution s/\n/ @@ / works Aug 26, 2016 at 7:25

This might help you,

( cat /proc/loadavg && date ) | awk 'ORS=" @@ "'
  • 1
    Note that your printf command will use the output from cat and date as a formatting string... If any part of those outputs contains a % formatting specifier, it will cause an error.
    – Kusalananda
    Aug 26, 2016 at 7:27
  • 2
    you didnt need to delete the printf command, per Kusalananda's comment, you could group the output into a separate arguments, i.e. printf <format_string> <string> <string> Aug 26, 2016 at 7:32

Just for something different...

(cat /proc/loadavg && date) | paste -d@ - - | sed 's/@/ @@ /' 

paste -d@ - - pastes the two line side-by-side with "@" in-between. Then sed replaces the single "@" with " @@ "

  • 2
    OK. for the record, you can do without sed e.g. ( cat /proc/loadavg && date ) | paste -d' @@ ' - /dev/null /dev/null /dev/null - Aug 26, 2016 at 21:09

The extra filtering you are doing to remove the new line is only being applied to the date command, therefore try

{ cat /proc/loadavg && date; } | tr -d '\n'

How about this?

export DELIMITER=' @@ '; cat /proc/loadavg | tr -d '\n'; echo -n "$DELIMITER" && date

Output: 0.34 0.39 0.40 1/1065 29353 @@ Fr 26. Aug 09:30:26 CEST 2016

It only removes the newline after the line output by cat, then echoes a delimiter string without a newline (-n) and finally appends the output of date.

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