I'm having headaches to know why my script doesn't work as expected under windows subsystem linux.

My version from the store : Debian GNU/Linux 9.6 (stretch) (I tried ubuntu too, with the same results)

And my bash version : GNU bash, version 4.4.12(1)-release (x86_64-pc-linux-gnu)

This is my basic script only to show the issue :

echo $compose_file

And it outputs :


As i understand, that output doesn't make any sense to me, I tried to reinstall bash but i'm still having the same issue.


There is a carriage return character at the end of PROJECT_ENV variable content. This is probably because your script uses CR+LF line endings (proper in DOS/Windows) instead of sole LF (Unix/Linux).

In Linux dos2unix is the right tool to fix it.

The detailed explanation is as follows:

  1. The final echo prints

  2. CR makes the terminal go back to the beginning of the line.

  3. The consecutive characters overwrite the previous text:

  4. Therefore the result is:


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