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Add the following function to the ~/.bashrc or ~/.bash_aliases, source the former and you’ll get a better command line calculator:

? () { echo "$*" | bc -l; }

You can use it the following way:

$ ? 7*3-5.5

and, no doubt that you’ll get 15.5 as the answer.

N.B. If you use parentheses, you must enclose the whole expression by double quotes.

 

UPDATE: An alternative way of using bc
$ bc -l <<< "7*3 - 5.5"

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