dc – Arbitrary-precision calculator

DC is a command-line calculator that provides arbitrary-precision arithmetic. It can be used for simple calculations as well as complex mathematical operations. It has a postfix notation, which means that operators follow the operands. This command is useful for tasks that require high precision, such as scientific calculations, financial calculations, and cryptography.


DC is a command-line tool that can be used interactively or in scripts. It accepts input from the standard input and outputs the results to the standard output. DC has several built-in functions and operators that can be used to perform mathematical operations, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, exponentiation, and logarithms.

DC uses a postfix notation, which means that the operator follows the operands. For example, to add two numbers, you would enter the first number, followed by the second number, and then the addition operator. The result would be displayed on the screen.

DC also supports variables, which can be used to store values for later use. Variables are assigned using the “=” operator. For example, to assign the value 10 to the variable “x”, you would enter “10 x =”. The value of the variable can then be used in subsequent calculations.

DC can also read input from a file using the “-f” option. This is useful for performing calculations on large datasets or for running scripts that contain multiple calculations.


Here are some examples of how to use the DC command:

Simple calculation

To add two numbers, enter the first number, followed by the second number, and then the addition operator:

$ dc

Using variables

To assign a value to a variable and use it in a calculation, use the “=” operator:

$ dc

Reading input from a file

To read input from a file, use the “-f” option followed by the filename:

$ dc -f input.txt


Here are the available options for the DC command:

Option Description
-e Execute the specified command.
-f Read input from the specified file.
-h Display help information.
-V Display version information.

Troubleshooting tips

If you encounter issues while using the DC command, here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • Make sure that you are using the correct syntax for the command.
  • Check that the input values are valid and in the correct format.
  • Verify that you are using the correct operator for the desired calculation.
  • If you are using variables, make sure that they are assigned correctly and that their values are valid.


  • DC is a powerful tool for performing high-precision calculations.
  • The postfix notation used by DC can take some time to get used to, but it can be very efficient for complex calculations.
  • DC is included in most Linux distributions and can be installed using the package manager.