A couple of years back I wrote about the builtin vs keyword conditional expressions, but I didnt think about another conditional use with arithmetic, that is with tests like [ $a -gt $b] or [[ $a -ne 0 ]].

Use similar code to benchmark 1 > 0 as shown below, not the real code, but you get the idea:

time for ((i = 0; i < 10000; i++)); do <test> 1 >/-gt 0 ; done

The result is:

<test> with time % slower
[ 6.647s 47.9%
[[ 4.692s 04.4%
(( 4.493s fastest
test (builtin) 6.538s 45.5%

(( is just marginally faster than [[ by my definition. Of course, they both are faster than builtin [ and test, as for /usr/bin/test, its an external command, there is no point to test, because its slow for sure.

With this result, there really isnt much difference between two, however, 1 > 0 is more readable than 1 -gt 0, literally and mathematically.


Yes, [[ 1 > 0 ]] is a valid syntax, but it doesnt do what you think, its not arithmetically but lexicographically. In short, its for strings, see bash(1), and there is no such this as [[ 1 >= 0 ]].