dc
dc
stands for Desk Calculator, and it is a command line tool for performing arithmetic calculations primarily involving arbitraryprecision decimal numbers. It is often used as a reversepolish notation (RPN) calculator.
With dc
, you can perform mathematical operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, exponentiation, square roots, trigonometric functions, and much more. It supports floatingpoint calculations and can handle very large numbers with high precision.
The syntax for dc
is a bit different from the typical arithmetic expressions you might be used to. Instead of writing expressions like 1 + 2
, you would enter them in postfix notation like this: 1 2 +
. The operands are typed in first, followed by the operator.
One of the notable features of dc
is its ability to chain multiple operations in a single line. For example, you can calculate the sum of squares of a list of numbers easily with just one line of input.
dc
is a versatile tool for performing calculations in scripts or on the command line without the need for a separate calculator application. It is simple and efficient, making it popular among Unixlike operating systems and scripting enthusiasts.
List of commands for dc:

dc:tldr:2a542 dc: Set number of decimal places to 7 (7 k), calculate 5 divided by 3 (5 _3 /) and [p]rint.$ dc expression='7 k 5 _3 / p'try on your machineexplain this command

dc:tldr:2c292 dc: Calculate the golden ratio, phi: set number of decimal places to 100 (100 k), square root of 5 (5 v) plus 1 (1 +), divided by 2 (2 /), and [p]rint result.$ dc expression='100 k 5 v 1 + 2 / p'try on your machineexplain this command

dc:tldr:61f90 dc: Calculate an expression with the specified scale.$ dc expression='${10} k ${5 3 } p'try on your machineexplain this command

dc:tldr:87c7c dc: Execute a script.$ dc ${pathtoscriptdc}try on your machineexplain this command