Updated: 2022/Sep/29

Please read Privacy Policy. It's for your privacy.

BC(1)                       General Commands Manual                      BC(1)

     bc - arbitrary precision calculator language

     bc [-hilqsvw] [long-options] [file ...]

     bc is a language that supports arbitrary precision numbers with
     interactive execution of statements.  There are some similarities in the
     syntax to the C programming language.  A standard math library is
     available by command line option.  If requested, the math library is
     defined before processing any files.  bc starts by processing code from
     all the files listed on the command line in the order listed.  After all
     files have been processed, bc reads from the standard input.  All code is
     executed as it is read.  (If a file contains a command to halt the
     processor, bc will never read from the standard input.)

     This version of bc contains several extensions beyond traditional bc
     implementations and the POSIX draft standard.  Command line options can
     cause these extensions to print a warning or to be rejected.  This
     document describes the language accepted by this processor.  Extensions
     will be identified as such.

     -h, --help           Print the usage and exit.

     -i, --interactive    Force interactive mode.

     -l, --mathlib        Define the standard math library.

     -q, --quiet          Quiet mode.

     -s, --standard       Process exactly the POSIX bc language.

     -v, --version        Print the version number and copyright and quit.

     -w, --warn           Give warnings for extensions to POSIX bc.

     The most basic element in bc is the number.  Numbers are arbitrary
     precision numbers.  This precision is both in the integer part and the
     fractional part.  All numbers are represented internally in decimal and
     all computation is done in decimal.  (This version of bc truncates
     results from divide and multiply operations.)  There are two attributes
     of numbers, the length and the scale.  The length is the total number of
     significant decimal digits in a number and the scale is the total number
     of decimal digits after the decimal point.  For example:

           .000001 has a length of 6 and scale of 6.
           1935.000 has a length of 7 and a scale of 3.

     Numbers are stored in two types of variables, simple variables and
     arrays.  Both simple variables and array variables are named.  Names
     begin with a letter followed by any number of letters, digits and
     underscores.  All letters must be lower case.  (Full alpha-numeric names
     are an extension.  In POSIX bc all names are a single lower case letter.)
     The type of variable is clear by the context because all array variable
     names will be followed by brackets (`[]').

     There are four special variables, scale, ibase, obase, and last.  scale
     defines how some operations use digits after the decimal point.  The
     default value of scale is 0.  ibase and obase define the conversion base
     for input and output numbers.  The default for both input and output is
     base 10.  last (an extension) is a variable that has the value of the
     last printed number.  These will be discussed in further detail where
     appropriate.  All of these variables may have values assigned to them as
     well as used in expressions.

     Comments in bc start with the characters `/*' and end with the characters
     `*/'.  Comments may start anywhere and appear as a single space in the
     input.  (This causes comments to delimit other input items.  For example,
     a comment can not be found in the middle of a variable name.)  Comments
     include any newlines (end of line) between the start and the end of the

     To support the use of scripts for bc, a single line comment has been
     added as an extension.  A single line comment starts at a `#' character
     and continues to the next end of the line.  The end of line character is
     not part of the comment and is processed normally.

     The numbers are manipulated by expressions and statements.  Since the
     language was designed to be interactive, statements and expressions are
     executed as soon as possible.  There is no "main" program.  Instead, code
     is executed as it is encountered.  (Functions, discussed in detail later,
     are defined when encountered.)

     A simple expression is just a constant.  bc converts constants into
     internal decimal numbers using the current input base, specified by the
     variable ibase.  (There is an exception in functions.)  The legal values
     of ibase are 2 through 36.  (Base values greater than 16 are an
     extension.)  Assigning a value outside this range to ibase will result in
     a value of 2 or 36.  Input numbers may contain the characters 0-9 and A-
     Z.  (Note: They must be capitals.  Lower case letters are variable
     names.)  Single digit numbers always have the value of the digit
     regardless of the value of ibase.  (i.e. `A' = 10.)  For multi-digit
     numbers, bc changes all input digits greater or equal to ibase to the
     value of ibase - 1.  This makes the number `ZZZ' always be the largest 3
     digit number of the input base.

     Full expressions are similar to many other high level languages.  Since
     there is only one kind of number, there are no rules for mixing types.
     Instead, there are rules on the scale of expressions.  Every expression
     has a scale.  This is derived from the scale of original numbers, the
     operation performed and in many cases, the value of the variable scale.
     Legal values of the variable scale are 0 to the maximum number
     representable by a C integer.

     In the following descriptions of legal expressions, expr refers to a
     complete expression and var refers to a simple or an array variable.  A
     simple variable is just a "name" and an array variable is specified as
     "name[expr]".  Unless specifically mentioned the scale of the result is
     the maximum scale of the expressions involved.

     -expr            The result is the negation of the expression.

     ++var            The variable is incremented by one and the new value is
                      the result of the expression.

     --var            The variable is decremented by one and the new value is
                      the result of the expression.

     var++            The result of the expression is the value of the
                      variable and then the variable is incremented by one.

     var--            The result of the expression is the value of the
                      variable and then the variable is decremented by one.

     expr + expr      The result of the expression is the sum of the two

     expr - expr      The result of the expression is the difference of the
                      two expressions.

     expr * expr      The result of the expression is the product of the two

     expr / expr      The result of the expression is the quotient of the two
                      expressions.  The scale of the result is the value of
                      the variable scale.

     expr % expr      The result of the expression is the remainder and it is
                      computed in the following way: To compute a%b, first a/b
                      is computed to scale digits.  That result is used to
                      compute a-(a/b)*b to the scale of the maximum of scale +
                      scale(b) and scale(a).  If scale is set to zero and both
                      expressions are integers this expression is the integer
                      remainder function.

     expr ^ expr      The result of the expression is the value of the first
                      raised to the second.  The second expression must be an
                      integer.  (If the second expression is not an integer, a
                      warning is generated and the expression is truncated to
                      get an integer value.)  The scale of the result is scale
                      if the exponent is negative.  If the exponent is
                      positive, the scale of the result is the minimum of the
                      scale of the first expression times the value of the
                      exponent and the maximum of scale and the scale of the
                      first expression.  (e.g. scale(a^b) = min(scale(a)*b,
                      max( scale, scale(a))).)  It should be noted that expr^0
                      will always return the value of 1.

     (expr)           This alters the standard precedence to force the
                      evaluation of the expression.

     var = expr       The variable is assigned the value of the expression.

     var <op>= expr   This is equivalent to var = var <op> expr with the
                      exception that the var part is evaluated only once.
                      This can make a difference if var is an array.

     Relational expressions are a special kind of expression that always
     evaluate to 0 or 1, 0 if the relation is false and 1 if the relation is
     true.  These may appear in any legal expression.  (POSIX bc requires that
     relational expressions are used only in if, while, and for statements and
     that only one relational test may be done in them.)  The relational
     operators are:

     expr1 < expr2    The result is 1 if expr1 is strictly less than expr2.

     expr1 <= expr2   The result is 1 if expr1 is less than or equal to expr2.

     expr1 > expr2    The result is 1 if expr1 is strictly greater than expr2.

     expr1 >= expr2   The result is 1 if expr1 is greater than or equal to

     expr1 == expr2   The result is 1 if expr1 is equal to expr2.

     expr1 != expr2   The result is 1 if expr1 is not equal to expr2.

     Boolean operations are also legal.  (POSIX bc does NOT have boolean
     operations.)  The result of all boolean operations are 0 and 1 (for false
     and true) as in relational expressions.  The boolean operators are:

     !expr            The result is 1 if expr is 0.

     expr && expr     The result is 1 if both expressions are non-zero.

     expr || expr     The result is 1 if either expression is non-zero.

     The expression precedence is as follows: (lowest to highest)

           1.   `||' operator, left associative

           2.   `&&' operator, left associative

           3.   `!' operator, nonassociative

           4.   Relational operators, left associative

           5.   Assignment operator, right associative

           6.   `+' and `-' operators, left associative

           7.   `*', `/' and `%' operators, left associative

           8.   `^' operator, right associative

           9.   unary `-' operator, nonassociative

           10.  `++' and `--' operators, nonassociative

     This precedence was chosen so that POSIX compliant bc programs will run
     correctly.  This will cause the use of the relational and logical
     operators to have some unusual behavior when used with assignment
     expressions.  Consider the expression:
           a = 3 < 5

     Most C programmers would assume this would assign the result of "3 < 5"
     (the value 1) to the variable a.  What this does in bc is assign the
     value 3 to the variable a and then compare 3 to 5.  It is best to use
     parentheses when using relational and logical operators with the
     assignment operators.

     There are a few more special expressions that are provided in bc.  These
     have to do with user defined functions and standard functions.  They all
     appear as "name(parameters)".  See the section on functions for user
     defined functions.  The standard functions are:

     length(expression)    The value of the length function is the number of
                           significant digits in the expression.

     read()                The read function (an extension) will read a number
                           from the standard input, regardless of where the
                           function occurs.  Beware, this can cause problems
                           with the mixing of data and program in the standard
                           input.  The best use for this function is in a
                           previously written program that needs input from
                           the user, but never allows program code to be input
                           from the user.  The value of the read function is
                           the number read from the standard input using the
                           current value of the variable ibase for the
                           conversion base.

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

     sqrt(expression)      The value of the sqrt function is the square root
                           of the expression.  If the expression is negative,
                           a run time error is generated.

     Statements (as in most algebraic languages) provide the sequencing of
     expression evaluation.  In bc statements are executed "as soon as
     possible".  Execution happens when a newline in encountered and there is
     one or more complete statements.  Due to this immediate execution,
     newlines are very important in bc.  In fact, both a semicolon and a
     newline are used as statement separators.  An improperly placed newline
     will cause a syntax error.  Because newlines are statement separators, it
     is possible to hide a newline by using the backslash character.  The
     sequence "\<nl>", where <nl> is the newline appears to bc as whitespace
     instead of a newline.  A statement list is a series of statements
     separated by semicolons and newlines.  The following is a list of bc
     statements and what they do: (Things enclosed in brackets ([]) are
     optional parts of the statement.)

     expression       This statement does one of two things.  If the
                      expression starts with <variable> <assignment> ..., it
                      is considered to be an assignment statement.  If the
                      expression is not an assignment statement, the
                      expression is evaluated and printed to the output.
                      After the number is printed, a newline is printed.  For
                      example, "a=1" is an assignment statement and "(a=1)" is
                      an expression that has an embedded assignment.  All
                      numbers that are printed are printed in the base
                      specified by the variable obase.  The legal values for
                      obase are 2 through BC_BASE_MAX.  (See the section
                      LIMITS.) For bases 2 through 16, the usual method of
                      writing numbers is used.  For bases greater than 16, bc
                      uses a multi-character digit method of printing the
                      numbers where each higher base digit is printed as a
                      base 10 number.  The multi-character digits are
                      separated by spaces.  Each digit contains the number of
                      characters required to represent the base ten value of
                      "obase-1".  Since numbers are of arbitrary precision,
                      some numbers may not be printable on a single output
                      line.  These long numbers will be split across lines
                      using the `\' as the last character on a line.  The
                      maximum number of characters printed per line is 70.
                      Due to the interactive nature of bc, printing a number
                      causes the side effect of assigning the printed value to
                      the special variable last.  This allows the user to
                      recover the last value printed without having to retype
                      the expression that printed the number.  Assigning to
                      last is legal and will overwrite the last printed value
                      with the assigned value.  The newly assigned value will
                      remain until the next number is printed or another value
                      is assigned to last.  (Some installations may allow the
                      use of a single period (`.') which is not part of a
                      number as a short hand notation for last.)

     "string"         The string is printed to the output.  Strings start with
                      a double quote character and contain all characters
                      until the next double quote character.  All characters
                      are take literally, including any newline.  No newline
                      character is printed after the string.

     print list       The print statement (an extension) provides another
                      method of output.  The list is a list of strings and
                      expressions separated by commas.  Each string or
                      expression is printed in the order of the list.  No
                      terminating newline is printed.  Expressions are
                      evaluated and their value is printed and assigned to the
                      variable last.  Strings in the print statement are
                      printed to the output and may contain special
                      characters.  Special characters start with the backslash
                      character (`\').  The special characters recognized by
                      bc are `a' (alert or bell), `b' (backspace), `f' (form
                      feed), `n' (newline), `r' (carriage return), `q' (double
                      quote), `t' (tab), and `\' (backslash).  Any other
                      character following the backslash will be ignored.

     { statement_list }
                      This is the compound statement.  It allows multiple
                      statements to be grouped together for execution.

     if (expression) statement1 [else statement2]
                      The if statement evaluates the expression and executes
                      statement1 or statement2 depending on the value of the
                      expression.  If the expression is non-zero, statement1
                      is executed.  If statement2 is present and the value of
                      the expression is 0, then statement2 is executed.  (The
                      else clause is an extension.)

     while (expression) statement
                      The while statement will execute the statement while the
                      expression is non-zero.  It evaluates the expression
                      before each execution of the statement.  Termination of
                      the loop is caused by a zero expression value or the
                      execution of a break statement.

     for ([expression1]; [expression2]; [expression3]) statement
                      The for statement controls repeated execution of the
                      statement.  expression1 is evaluated before the loop.
                      expression2 is evaluated before each execution of the
                      statement.  If it is non-zero, the statement is
                      executed.  If it is zero, the loop is terminated.  After
                      each execution of the statement, expression3 is
                      evaluated before the reevaluation of expression2.  If
                      expression1 or expression3 are missing, nothing is
                      evaluated at the point they would be evaluated.  If
                      expression2 is missing, it is the same as substituting
                      the value 1 for expression2.  (The optional expressions
                      are an extension.  POSIX bc requires all three
                      expressions.)  The following is equivalent code for the
                      for statement:

                            while (expression2) {

     break            This statement causes a forced exit of the most recent
                      enclosing while statement or for statement.

     continue         The continue statement (an extension) causes the most
                      recent enclosing for statement to start the next

     halt             The halt statement (an extension) is an executed
                      statement that causes the bc processor to quit only when
                      it is executed.  For example,
                            if (0 == 1) halt
                      will not cause bc to terminate because the halt is not

     return           Return the value 0 from a function.  (See the section on

     return (expression)
                      Return the value of the expression from a function.
                      (See the section on  functions.)  As an extension, the
                      parentheses are not required.

     These statements are not statements in the traditional sense.  They are
     not executed statements.  Their function is performed at "compile" time.

     limits           Print the local limits enforced by the local version of
                      bc This is an extension.

     quit             When the quit statement is read, the bc processor is
                      terminated, regardless of where the quit statement is
                      found.  For example,
                            if (0 == 1) quit
                      will cause bc to terminate.

     warranty         Print a longer warranty notice.  This is an extension.

     Functions provide a method of defining a computation that can be executed
     later.  Functions in bc always compute a value and return it to the
     caller.  Function definitions are "dynamic" in the sense that a function
     is undefined until a definition is encountered in the input.  That
     definition is then used until another definition function for the same
     name is encountered.  The new definition then replaces the older
     definition.  A function is defined as follows:

           define name ( parameters ) { newline
               auto_list   statement_list }

     A function call is just an expression of the form "name(parameters)".

     Parameters are numbers or arrays (an extension).  In the function
     definition, zero or more parameters are defined by listing their names
     separated by commas.  All parameters are call by value parameters.
     Arrays are specified in the parameter definition by the notation
     "name[]".  In the function call, actual parameters are full expressions
     for number parameters.  The same notation is used for passing arrays as
     for defining array parameters.  The named array is passed by value to the
     function.  Since function definitions are dynamic, parameter numbers and
     types are checked when a function is called.  Any mismatch in number or
     types of parameters will cause a runtime error.  A runtime error will
     also occur for the call to an undefined function.

     The auto_list is an optional list of variables that are for "local" use.
     The syntax of the auto list (if present) is "auto name, ...;".  (The
     semicolon is optional.)  Each name is the name of an auto variable.
     Arrays may be specified by using the same notation as used in parameters.
     These variables have their values pushed onto a stack at the start of the
     function.  The variables are then initialized to zero and used throughout
     the execution of the function.  At function exit, these variables are
     popped so that the original value (at the time of the function call) of
     these variables are restored.  The parameters are really auto variables
     that are initialized to a value provided in the function call.  Auto
     variables are different than traditional local variables because if
     function A calls function B, B may access function A's auto variables by
     just using the same name, unless function B has called them auto
     variables.  Due to the fact that auto variables and parameters are pushed
     onto a stack, bc supports recursive functions.

     The function body is a list of bc statements.  Again, statements are
     separated by semicolons or newlines.  Return statements cause the
     termination of a function and the return of a value.  There are two
     versions of the return statement.  The first form, "return", returns the
     value 0 to the calling expression.  The second form, "return
     (expression)", computes the value of the expression and returns that
     value to the calling expression.  There is an implied "return (0)" at the
     end of every function.  This allows a function to terminate and return 0
     without an explicit return statement.

     Functions also change the usage of the variable ibase.  All constants in
     the function body will be converted using the value of ibase at the time
     of the function call.  Changes of ibase will be ignored during the
     execution of the function except for the standard function read(), which
     will always use the current value of ibase for conversion of numbers.

     Several extensions have been added to functions.  First, the format of
     the definition has been slightly relaxed.  The standard requires the
     opening brace be on the same line as the define keyword and all other
     parts must be on following lines.  This version of bc will allow any
     number of newlines before and after the opening brace of the function.
     For example, the following definitions are legal.

           define d (n) { return (2*n); }
           define d (n)
             { return (2*n); }

     Functions may be defined as void.  A void funtion returns no value and
     thus may not be used in any place that needs a value.  A void function
     does not produce any output when called by itself on an input line.  The
     key word void is placed between the key word define and the function
     name.  For example, consider the following session.

           define py (y) { print "--->", y, "<---", "\n"; }
           define void px (x) { print "--->", x, "<---", "\n"; }

     Since py() is not a void function, the call of `py(1)' prints the desired
     output and then prints a second line that is the value of the function.
     Since the value of a function that is not given an explicit return
     statement is zero, the zero is printed.  For `px(1)', no zero is printed
     because the function is a void function.

     Also, call by variable for arrays was added.  To declare a call by
     variable array, the declaration of the array parameter in the function
     definition looks like "name[]".  The call to the function remains the
     same as call by value arrays.

     If bc is invoked with the -l option, a math library is preloaded and the
     default scale is set to 20.  The math functions will calculate their
     results to the scale set at the time of their call.  The math library
     defines the following functions:

     s(x)             The sine of x, x is in radians.

     c(x)             The cosine of x, x is in radians.

     a(x)             The arctangent of x, arctangent returns radians.

     l(x)             The natural logarithm of x.

     e(x)             The exponential function of raising e to the value x.

     j(n, x)          The Bessel function of integer order n of x.

     The following environment variables are processed by bc:

     POSIXLY_CORRECT  This is the same as the -s option.

     BC_ENV_ARGS      This is another mechanism to get arguments to bc.  The
                      format is the same as the command line arguments.  These
                      arguments are processed first, so any files listed in
                      the environment arguments are processed before any
                      command line argument files.  This allows the user to
                      set up "standard" options and files to be processed at
                      every invocation of bc.  The files in the environment
                      variables would typically contain function definitions
                      for functions the user wants defined every time bc is

     BC_LINE_LENGTH   This should be an integer specifying the number of
                      characters in an output line for numbers.  This includes
                      the backslash and newline characters for long numbers.

     In /bin/sh, the following will assign the value of pi to the shell
     variable pi.

           pi=$(echo "scale=10; 4*a(1)" | bc -l)

     The following is the definition of the exponential function used in the
     math library.  This function is written in POSIX bc.

           scale = 20

           /* Uses the fact that e^x = (e^(x/2))^2
              When x is small enough, we use the series:
                e^x = 1 + x + x^2/2! + x^3/3! + ...

           define e(x) {
             auto  a, d, e, f, i, m, v, z

             /* Check the sign of x. */
             if (x<0) {
               m = 1
               x = -x

             /* Precondition x. */
             z = scale;
             scale = 4 + z + .44*x;
             while (x > 1) {
               f += 1;
               x /= 2;

             /* Initialize the variables. */
             v = 1+x
             a = x
             d = 1

             for (i=2; 1; i++) {
               e = (a *= x) / (d *= i)
               if (e == 0) {
                 if (f>0) while (f--)  v = v*v;
                 scale = z
                 if (m) return (1/v);
                 return (v/1);
               v += e

     The following is code that uses the extended features of bc to implement
     a simple program for calculating checkbook balances.  This program is
     best kept in a file so that it can be used many times without having to
     retype it at every use.

           print "\nCheck book program!\n"
           print "  Remember, deposits are negative transactions.\n"
           print "  Exit by a 0 transaction.\n\n"

           print "Initial balance? "; bal = read()
           bal /= 1
           print "\n"
           while (1) {
             "current balance = "; bal
             "transaction? "; trans = read()
             if (trans == 0) break;
             bal -= trans
             bal /= 1

     The following is the definition of the recursive factorial function.

           define f (x) {
             if (x <= 1) return (1);
             return (f(x-1) * x);

     bc is compiled using the editline(3) library.  This allows the user to do
     editing of lines before sending them to bc.  It also allows for a history
     of previous lines typed.  This adds to bc one more special variable.
     This special variable, history is the number of lines of history
     retained.  The default value of -1 means that an unlimited number of
     history lines are retained.  Setting the value of history to a positive
     number restricts the number of history lines to the number given.  The
     value of 0 disables the history feature.  For more information, read the
     user manual for the editline(3) library.

     This version of bc was implemented from the POSIX P1003.2/D11 draft and
     contains several differences and extensions relative to the draft and
     traditional implementations.  It is not implemented in the traditional
     way using dc(1).  This version is a single process which parses and runs
     a byte code translation of the program.  There is an "undocumented"
     option (-c) that causes the program to output the byte code to the
     standard output instead of running it.  It was mainly used for debugging
     the parser and preparing the math library.

     A major source of differences is extensions, where a feature is extended
     to add more functionality and additions, where new features are added.
     The following is the list of differences and extensions.

     LANG environment
                      This version does not conform to the POSIX standard in
                      the processing of the LANG environment variable and all
                      environment variables starting with LC_.

     names            Traditional and POSIX bc have single letter names for
                      functions, variables and arrays.  They have been
                      extended to be multi-character names that start with a
                      letter and may contain letters, numbers and the
                      underscore character.

     strings          Strings are not allowed to contain NUL characters.
                      POSIX says all characters must be included in strings.

     last             POSIX bc does not have a last variable.  Some
                      implementations of bc use the period (`.') in a similar

     comparisons      POSIX bc allows comparisons only in the if statement,
                      the while statement, and the second expression of the
                      for statement.  Also, only one relational operation is
                      allowed in each of those statements.

     if statement, else clause
                      POSIX bc does not have an else clause.

     for statement    POSIX bc requires all expressions to be present in the
                      for statement.

     &&, ||, !        POSIX bc does not have the logical operators.

     read() function  POSIX bc does not have a read() function.

     print statement  POSIX bc does not have a print statement .

     continue statement
                      POSIX bc does not have a continue statement.

     return statement
                      POSIX bc requires parentheses around the return

     array parameters
                      POSIX bc does not (currently) support array parameters
                      in full.  The POSIX grammar allows for arrays in
                      function definitions, but does not provide a method to
                      specify an array as an actual parameter.  (This is most
                      likely an oversight in the grammar.)  Traditional
                      implementations of bc have only call-by-value array

     function format  POSIX bc requires the opening brace on the same line as
                      the define key word and the auto statement on the next

     =+, =-, =*, =/, =%, =^
                      POSIX bc does not require these "old style" assignment
                      operators to be defined.  This version may allow these
                      "old style" assignments.  Use the limits statement to
                      see if the installed version supports them.  If it does
                      support the "old style" assignment operators, the
                      statement "a =- 1" will decrement a by 1 instead of
                      setting a to the value -1.

     spaces in numbers
                      Other implementations of bc allow spaces in numbers.
                      For example, "x=1 3" would assign the value 13 to the
                      variable x.  The same statement would cause a syntax
                      error in this version of bc.

     errors and execution
                      This implementation varies from other implementations in
                      terms of what code will be executed when syntax and
                      other errors are found in the program.  If a syntax
                      error is found in a function definition, error recovery
                      tries to find the beginning of a statement and continue
                      to parse the function.  Once a syntax error is found in
                      the function, the function will not be callable and
                      becomes undefined.  Syntax errors in the interactive
                      execution code will invalidate the current execution
                      block.  The execution block is terminated by an end of
                      line that appears after a complete sequence of
                      statements.  For example,

                      a = 1
                      b = 2
                      has two execution blocks and

                      { a = 1
                        b = 2 }
                      has one execution block.  Any runtime error will
                      terminate the execution of the current execution block.
                      A runtime warning will not terminate the current
                      execution block.

     interrupts       During an interactive session, the SIGINT signal
                      (usually generated by the control-C character from the
                      terminal) will cause execution of the current execution
                      block to be interrupted.  It will display a "runtime"
                      error indicating which function was interrupted.  After
                      all runtime structures have been cleaned up, a message
                      will be printed to notify the user that bc is ready for
                      more input.  All previously defined functions remain
                      defined and the value of all non-auto variables are the
                      value at the point of interruption.  All auto variables
                      and function parameters are removed during the clean up
                      process.  During a non-interactive session, the SIGINT
                      signal will terminate the entire run of bc.

     The following are the limits currently in place for this bc processor.
     Some of them may have been changed by an installation.  Use the limits
     statement to see the actual values.

     BC_BASE_MAX      The maximum output base is currently set at 999.  The
                      maximum input base is 16.

     BC_DIM_MAX       This is currently an arbitrary limit of 65535 as
                      distributed.  Your installation may be different.

     BC_SCALE_MAX     The number of digits after the decimal point is limited
                      to INT_MAX digits.  Also, the number of digits before
                      the decimal point is limited to INT_MAX digits.

     BC_STRING_MAX    The limit on the number of characters in a string is
                      INT_MAX characters.

     exponent         The value of the exponent in the raise operation (`^')
                      is limited to LONG_MAX.

     variable names   The current limit on the number of unique names is 32767
                      for each of simple variables, arrays and functions.

     If any file on the command line can not be opened, bc will report that
     the file is unavailable and terminate.  Also, there are compile and run
     time diagnostics that should be self-explanatory.

     This man page documents bc version nb1.0.

     Philip A. Nelson <phil@NetBSD.org>

     The author would like to thank Steve Sommars for his extensive help in
     testing the implementation.  Many great suggestions were given.  This is
     a much better product due to his involvement.

     Error recovery is not very good yet.

NetBSD 10.99                    April 16, 2017                    NetBSD 10.99