I Tried to run the following similar commands in CentOS (12.x):

printf "\nhello" "$HOME"/.bashrc
printf "\nhello" ${HOME}/.bashrc

After execution I display the content of the .bashrc file and see nothing new.

set -x brings an empty line of output for both so my command is likely wrong.

I had a similar problem with echo syntax (edit: I'm likely to misrecall but I recalled I could append content with echo without appendation operator like >>).

What you see wrong?

  • 1
    You are missing a redirection operator... – jasonwryan Jul 11 at 20:58
  • I swear I remembered in the past I used echo without it and still appended content. – user9303970 Jul 11 at 21:01
  • 2
    @user9303970 Using echo without redirection would not append text to any file, unless the echo was part of a composite command that was redirected as a whole, or a redirected script. – Kusalananda Jul 11 at 21:04
up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you are trying to redirect the output to your .bashrc file you need a redirection operator > (will overwrite the file) or in your case >> (will append the file) is probably more appropriate.

printf '\n%s\n' "hello" >> "${HOME}/.bashrc"

A Kusalananda points out it's generally a good idea to put a trailing newline at the end of your file. Some tools expect a file to end with a newline and could behave unexpectedly if it's not there.

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