I read an array from another script. This array needs to put " " around all array members since some members are empty.

vector=($(./readdata.sh 0 $in_file))
for index in ${!vector[@]}
    echo ${vector[index]}

The problem is that I have quotations around each output line and I want to get rid of them.


must change to:



I look for a method which does not use awk, tr, sed or any other pipeline based way. I just want to solve with using native ways such as using parenthesis, different punctuations, ....

  • This might help - stackoverflow.com/questions/9733338/…
    – rahul
    Apr 2 '15 at 6:27
  • @rahul i saw it. it has used sed
    – ar2015
    Apr 2 '15 at 6:28
  • 1
    look for the accepted answer. They have used the native prefix/sufix feature without sed. sed is presented as an alternative. But the accepted answer does not use sed.
    – rahul
    Apr 2 '15 at 6:29
  • @ar2015 The accepted answer there starts with a version without sed.
    – Anthon
    Apr 2 '15 at 6:30
  • 1
    @mikeserv some array members are empty strings. Then they vanish this way. Actually I am putting " " around members for this purpose. avoid putting it around members in the original script is much easier.
    – ar2015
    Apr 2 '15 at 6:51

This might work:

vector=($(./readdata.sh 0 $in_file))
for index in ${!vector[@]}
    echo ${vector[index]//\"/}

Ref: http://www.tldp.org/LDP/abs/html/refcards.html#AEN22828

  • I was looking for a clean way. A readable way. This is the best ever solution.
    – ar2015
    Apr 2 '15 at 6:52
  • 2
    You should enclose the entire expression in double quotes (echo "${vector[index]//\"/}") in case the value has leading spaces, trailing spaces, or embedded strings of multiple spaces.  Note that this will remove embedded (internal) quotes as well as the ones at the beginning and end.  (And the ; at the end of the command line is unnecessary.)
    – Scott
    Apr 2 '15 at 7:32
  • @Scott in my case it does not happen because the scrip puts quotations. but thanks for mentioning.
    – ar2015
    Apr 2 '15 at 7:36
  • I don't understand which part of my comment you're responding to, or how your comment makes sense as a response to mine.
    – Scott
    Apr 2 '15 at 7:38
  • @Scott the ; at the end of the command was introduced by pasting the snipped into my terminal. It is not in the OP's snippet. I'll remove it from the snippet. There are several other things that could be optimized, but this wasn't the requirement in this question, so I keep it the way it was posted by the OP.
    – FloHimself
    Apr 2 '15 at 7:48

You'll make your program simpler and more robust if readdata.sh produces newline-delimited data, with no extra quotes.

In your current program, the output of readdata.sh is split at whitespace (so e.g. "a b" results in two array elements "a and b") and each resulting word is interpreted as a wildcard pattern (so e.g. "a * b" results in "a, then the file names in the current directory, and finally b"). See Why does my shell script choke on whitespace or other special characters? for more details.

Bash provides a very simple way of reading newline-delimited data: the mapfile builtin. Since bash executes the right-hand side of a pipeline in a subshell, you can't just write ./readdata.sh 0 "$in_file" | mapfile -t vector, you have to put the use of the variable in a command block, or you can use process substitution:

mapfile -t vector < <(./readdata.sh 0 "$in_file")
for index in "${!vector[@]}"
  echo "$index: ${vector[index]}"

If you aren't using the indices, only the elements, a simpler way to iterate over the array is

for element in "${vector[@]}"
  echo "$element"

As you prefer a one liner,


Remember that text substitutions could work for the array as a whole.


If you want to avoid a "hacky" search-and-replace solution, using eval seems to do the job:

vector=( $(eval echo ${vector[@]}) )

This causes the shell to interpret them as quoted arguments to echo, which removes the quotes. Of course, the line above as it is has still problems with white space, but the key point here is the idea of using eval.

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