Question about expr

Dan Nelson dnelson at
Sat Mar 27 06:51:06 UTC 2010

In the last episode (Mar 27), Manish Jain said:
> I am used to the normal GNU-version of expr (also available on Solaris)
> and much prefer it over the FreeBSD version.  The GNU version allows
> internal commands like length, substring and others which make it much
> easier to work with.  Is there any way I can replace FreeBSD's native expr
> with the GNU version ?  Since I believe expr does not normally ship as a
> shell-builtin, I don't think the shell can of much help in the matter.
> Actually, I think it might not be a bad idea to place a port of GNU-expr 
> in the ports directory. This would allow a lot a scripts to be readily 
> portable to multiple environments.

It's part of the coreutils package.  If you install the sysutils/coreutils
port, you can symlink /bin/expr over to it (or make a copy).  I don't know
if it's 100% compatible with BSD expr, though, so you may end up breaking
scripts in the base system.

	Dan Nelson
	dnelson at

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