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bc [ -hlwsqv ] [long-options] [ file ... ]

bc is a language that supports arbitrary precision numbers with interactive execution of statements. There are some similarities in the syntax to the C programming language. A standard math library is available by command line option. If requested, the math library is defined before processing any files. bc starts by processing code from all the files listed on the command line in the order listed. After all files have been processed, bc reads from the standard input. All code is executed as it is read. (If a file contains a command to halt the processor, bc will never read from the standard input.)

This version of bc contains several extensions beyond traditional bc implementations and the POSIX draft standard. Command line options can cause these extensions to print a warning or to be rejected. This document describes the language accepted by this processor. Extensions will be identified as such.

The author would like to thank Steve Sommars (Steve.Sommars@att.com) for his extensive help in testing the implementation. Many great suggestions were given. This is a much better product due to his involvement.

Email bug reports to bug-bc@gnu.org. Be sure to include the word "bc" somewhere in the "Subject:" field.

Command Line Options

bc takes the following options from the command line:

-h, --help
Print the usage and exit.
-l, --mathlib
Define the standard math library.
-w, --warn
Give warnings for extensions to POSIX bc.
-s, --standard
Process exactly the POSIX bc language.
-q, --quiet
Do not print the normal GNU bc welcome.
-v, --version
Print the version number and copyright and quit.

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