by Sai gowtham

How to get the first character of a string in Bash

In this tutorial, we are going to learn about how to get the first character of a string in Bash.

Consider, we have the following string.

place="Paris"

Now, we want to get the first character P from the above string.

Getting the first character

To access the first character of a string, we can use the (substring) parameter expansion syntax ${str:position:length} in the Bash shell.

position: it tells the starting position of a string extraction.

length: it tells the number of characters we need to extract from a string.

Here is an example:

place="Paris"
firstCharacter=${place:0:1}

echo $firstCharacter

Output:

"P"

This above syntax can also be written like this:

place="Paris"
firstCharacter=${place::1}

echo $firstCharacter

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