Bash - Date Command and Space

Bash - Date command and space

The correct approach is to define your own function inside your Bash script.

function my_date {
date "+%y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S"

Now you can use my_date as if it were an external program.

For example:

echo "It is now $(my_date)."

Or simply:


Why isn't your approach working?

The first problem is that your assignment is broken.

DATE_COMMAND="date "+%y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S""

This is parsed as an assignment of the string date +%y-%m-%d to the variable DATE_COMMAND. After the blank, the shell starts interpreting the remaining symbols in ways you did not intend.

This could be partially fixed by changing the quotation.

DATE_COMMAND="date '+%y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S'"

However, this doesn't really solve the problem because if we now use


It will not expand the argument correctly. The date program will see the arguments '+%y-%m-%d and %H:%M:%S' (with quotes) instead of a single string. This could be solved by using eval as in

DATE_COMMAND="date '+%y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S'"
echo $(eval $DATE_COMMAND)

where the variable DATE_COMMAND is first expanded to the string date '+%y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S' that is then evaluated as if it were written like so thus invoking date correctly.

Note that I'm only showing this to explain the issue. eval is not a good solution here. Use a function instead.

PS It is better to avoid all-uppercase identifier strings as those are often in conflict with environment variables or even have a magic meaning to the shell.

bash is eating spaces from date format in linux

Use double-quotes like this:

$ echo $(date -d '+1 day' '+%b %e')
Aug 2
$ echo "$(date -d '+1 day' '+%b %e')"
Aug 2


$ var="$(date -d '+1 day' '+%b %e')"
$ echo $var
Aug 2
$ echo "$var"
Aug 2

Without double-quotes, the shell, among other things, applies word splitting to the output and that collapses multiple spaces to one blank.

Bash date command and extra space when using quotes

Let us run only date command and see what output it gives us.

Thu Dec 6 10:37:15 EST 2018

Since " keeps original spaces save in them so when you are running your 2nd command as follows then it keeps that space save.

echo "Started at $(date)"
Started at Thu Dec 6 10:36:46 EST 2018

So we should actually say it is NOT adding extra space instead of keeping the original space in output.

Why is echoing a quoted date bash command adding a space?

Your date command prints an extra space before the day-of-month if the day-of-month is a single digit.

Here's your first command:

echo $(date)

Since you didn't put double-quotes around $(date), the shell performs word-splitting on the output of date, and passes each word as a separate argument to echo. In word-splitting, the shell considers two consecutive spaces to mean the same thing as a single space. So the shell “eats” the extra space emitted by date.

Here's your second version:

echo "$(date)"

Since you put double-quotes around $(date), the shell does not perform word-splitting on the output of date. It passes the entire output of date, except for trailing newlines, as a single argument to echo. So the shell preserves the extra space that was output by date.

bash datetime concatenated with space

$ date +"%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S"
2015-10-13 14:48:17

date +"%FORMAT %FORMAT" # just an example with space

Anything other than %FORMAT remains the same.

space issue between Month and date in linux

date is outputting the string you want; I suspect you aren't properly quoting the variable value when you expand it.

$ d=$(date +'%b %_d %H')
$ echo $d
Jun 6 20
$ echo "$d"
Jun 6 20

split date and time collide with space between them in bash

Just use cut

root@a036fb1c94fa:~# DATE=$(echo "2020-02-2514:24:25" | cut -b-10)
root@a036fb1c94fa:~# TIME=$(echo "2020-02-2514:24:25" | cut -b11-)
root@a036fb1c94fa:~# TIMESTAMP=$(date -d "$DATE $TIME" +"%s")
root@a036fb1c94fa:~# echo $TIME
root@a036fb1c94fa:~# echo $DATE
root@a036fb1c94fa:~# echo $TIMESTAMP


echo "2020-02-2514:24:25" | cut -b-10

echo the string and cut it before the 10th byte

echo "2020-02-2514:24:25" | cut -b11-

echo the string and cut it from the 11th byte until the end

echo date -d "$DATE $TIME" +"%s"

give the right format to unix date command, with +"%s" to get its timestamp

Is there a date/time format that does not have spaces?

I found a simple work around. Simply use underscores for spaces and do a tr in the CGI script before converting to a date. It looks something like this:

stamp="$(echo $stamp|tr _ ' '|xargs -0 date -d)"

Then use a date that looks something like this:


which converts to:

date -d "26 Oct 2010 11:57:56 CDT"

Date - Month in bash without leading 0 or space?

You have already removed the padding for the day, why not do the same for the month?

$ date +'%-d-%-m-%Y'

Here's a list of all padding modifiers from man date:

By default, date pads numeric fields with zeroes. The following
optional flags may follow '%':

- (hyphen) do not pad the field

_ (underscore) pad with spaces

0 (zero) pad with zeros

^ use upper case if possible

# use opposite case if possible

After any flags comes an optional field width, as a decimal number;
then an optional modifier, which is either E to use the locale's
alternate representations if available, or O to use the locale's
alternate numeric symbols if available.

date with tabs space in between in unix

If you use the bash shell:

$ date +"%y"$'\t'"%m"$'\t'"%d"
10 12 15

Note the $'\t' shell notation which produces a literal horizontal tab character.


Many commands, such as printf(1) support some kind of notation to specify any special characters like a horizontal tab:

$ printf 'x\ty\n'
x y

If the command does not support something like this, the way to deal with it is to embed a literal horizontal tab in the format string. Unfortunately the shell tends to treat the tab key specially e.g. to perform auto-completion.

In bash (and perhaps other sh-like shells) there is a convenient notation like $'\t' to get around this issue.

Another way is to invoke the "quote mode" of the shell. In many shells (including bash and tcsh) this can be done by pressing Ctrl-V before pressing the special character. This will enable the shell's quote mode for the next character only:

$ echo 'x    q'
x q

The result above can be achieved by pressing Ctrl-V after the x and before pressing the tab key.

Related Topics

Leave a reply