5
bc
1/2
0

5/3
1

10/3
3

When a fraction is entered into bc, the result is truncated to an integer. How can this behavior be avoided, such that the output of a division operation is a real number?

8

Try something like scale=2

From the man page:

scale ( expression )

The value of the scale function is the number of digits after the decimal point in the expression.

By default, the scale is 0, so no digits after the decimal are shown.

5

Use the scale special variable to define decimal places:

scale=4
1/2
.5000
  • Thanks, you both had the right answer, and at essentially the same time. – user001 Jan 12 '12 at 3:30
3

The easiest way is to invoke bc with the -l argument:

bc -l

Example:

$ bc -l
1/2
.50000000000000000000
5/3
1.66666666666666666666
10/3
3.33333333333333333333

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