BASH Programming

How to Take Input From a User in Bash Script [Advanced Techniques]

You can create interactive scripts by taking input from the user during execution. It also helps you to manipulate the output as per the requirements. There are some easy methods to take input from the user. That’s why it is best to use more advanced ways as an intermediate or expert. However, many bash users need to learn advanced techniques to take input from the users in a bash script. So in this tutorial, we will explain them all briefly.

How to Take Input From a User in Bash Script [Advanced Techniques]

With the read command, you can take input, but do you know that you can take multiple inputs? Let’s take an example to get in-depth information. Suppose we want to create a script to perform an arithmetic calculation using multiple (A, B, C, D, E) numbers:


echo "Please enter three numbers"

read A B C D E


echo "Addition is $sum"


echo "Multiplication is $multiply"

Now, we can execute the script and enter the numbers to calculate the addition and multiplication:

If you don’t want to create a separate echo statement, then you can add it in the read command using the -p option:


read -p "Please Enter Your Name and Age:" name age

if [ $age -lt 17 ]


echo "Sorry!! You are not eligible for the course"


echo "Great!! You are eligible for the course"


The above script requires a user to be at least 17 years old to get eligibility for the particular course:

Take Input Using Stdin (Standard Input)

If you want to go one step further in the advanced techniques, then you can use the stdin concept. You can use the stdin in the script to get easy solutions. Let’s take an example where we want to filter out the list of eligible candidates that have already submitted the fees. We have a list that contains details like candidate name, age, date of form submission, and fee submission status. So we can use the below-given script to get the desired details:


echo "details about the fees submission:"

cat /dev/stdin | cut -d' ' -f 1,4 | sort

This script provides the following result:

Wrapping Up

So this was all about the advanced techniques you can try to take input from the user in a bash script. In this tutorial, we have explained different options in the read command and the stdin to enter the input quickly. If you are new to bash and want to know how to take input, please check out our website to know more.

About the author

Prateek Jangid

A passionate Linux user for personal and professional reasons, always exploring what is new in the world of Linux and sharing with my readers.