Round a Number in a Bash Script

Round a Number in a Bash Script

Bash only evaluates expressions with non-floating point numbers. So there is no built-in function for rounding up or down floating point numbers.

External commands like bc or awk or perl can be used to round numbers as needed. I have tried several methods. Among them, printf is quite fast. It uses automatic rounding (if the precision is equal to or greater than .5, rounds up else rounds down).

For example,

printf "%.0f\n" 123.456
printf "%.0f\n" 7.89

This will result in,


Unix commandline tool awk can also be used to round up or down numbers. awk has built in functions like int() to cast numbers as integers. Here is an example.

echo 123.456 | awk '{print int($1)}'
echo 7.89 | awk '{print int($1)}'

This will result in,


See? The precision part is always dropped. A custom function to round up or round down numbers can be written in awk. Here is what I tried.

echo 123.456 | awk '{print ($0-int($0)<0.499)?int($0):int($0)+1}'
echo 7.89 | awk '{print ($0-int($0)<0.499)?int($0):int($0)+1}'

It results,


It was an automatic rounding. To apply ceil() or floor() like functionality, the following approach can be followed.

# floor
echo 1.23 | awk '{print int($0)}'
# ceil
echo 1.23 | awk '{print ($0-int($0)>0)?int($0)+1:int($0)}'

The output is,


Hope that helps.