How to Trim String in bash?

Hi all,

Is there an easy way to trim a string in bash?

For example if I wanted to trim a string with JS, I could simply do string.trim();.

However as far as I can see there is no such command in bash:

  1. trim

The output that I get is:

  1. trim: command not found

Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Submit an answer

This textbox defaults to using Markdown to format your answer.

You can type !ref in this text area to quickly search our full set of tutorials, documentation & marketplace offerings and insert the link!

Sign In or Sign Up to Answer

These answers are provided by our Community. If you find them useful, show some love by clicking the heart. If you run into issues leave a comment, or add your own answer to help others.

Bobby Iliev
Site Moderator
Site Moderator badge
April 16, 2020
Accepted Answer


There are multiple ways to do this depending on what exactly you would like to achieve.

One of the most straight forward ways to trim a string in bash is to use the xargs command. Here’s a quick example:

echo "   some text here  " | xargs

You would get the following output:

some text here

Note that the spaces between the words are still there, only the initial and trailing spaces are removed.

Hope that this helps! Regards, Bobby

Try DigitalOcean for free

Click below to sign up and get $200 of credit to try our products over 60 days!

Sign up

Featured on Community

Get our biweekly newsletter

Sign up for Infrastructure as a Newsletter.

Hollie's Hub for Good

Working on improving health and education, reducing inequality, and spurring economic growth? We'd like to help.

Become a contributor

Get paid to write technical tutorials and select a tech-focused charity to receive a matching donation.

Welcome to the developer cloud

DigitalOcean makes it simple to launch in the cloud and scale up as you grow — whether you're running one virtual machine or ten thousand.

Learn more
DigitalOcean Cloud Control Panel