How to echo shell commands as they are executed

In a shell script, how do I echo all shell commands called and expand any variable names?

For example, given the following line:


I would like the script to run the command and display the following

ls /full/path/to/some/dir

The purpose is to save a log of all shell commands called and their arguments. Is there perhaps a better way of generating such a log?


set -x or set -o xtrace expands variables and prints a little + sign before the line.

set -v or set -o verbose does not expand the variables before printing.

Use set +x and set +v to turn off the above settings.

On the first line of the script, one can put #!/bin/sh -x (or -v) to have the same effect as set -x (or -v) later in the script.

The above also works with /bin/sh.

See the bash-hackers' wiki on set attributes, and on debugging.

$ cat shl

ls $DIR

$ bash -x shl 
+ DIR=/tmp/so
+ ls /tmp/so