How do I import the results of a subshell command into an array in bash 3?

I have been using mapfile to accomplish this in bash 4 as follows:

mapfile -t myarray < <(someScript.sh)

However, some of the servers I am working with only have bash 3 installed, and cannot be upgraded to bash 4.

What is an equivalent command in bash 4?

I need to be able to iterate the lines in the array, and perform operations on the contents of each line.

  • "perform operations" ? what kind of operations ? if you're just processing text then an array is one of the last things you'd want to use... – don_crissti Dec 23 '16 at 0:15
  • @don_crissti I need to do regular expression checks on each line of the array. Then, if a given line contains a given regular expression, I need to do some string parsing to process dates, look for substrings, perform math on extracted numbers, etc. – CodeMed Dec 23 '16 at 1:34
  • Sounds like a job for awk but then, without knowing the exact details it's hard to tell. Anyway, if you get familiar with awk, you'll be able to do a lot of that stuff without using shell loops and arrays to process text which, as Stéphane said here, is a sign of bad coding practice. – don_crissti Dec 23 '16 at 13:42
  • @don_crissti The shell calls a second script using a subshell. All of the terminal output from the second script is checked line by line for a few different RegEx matches. If a specific RegEx match is found, the line is parsed to extract a variable. Then the value of the extracted variable is used to guide the control flow. – CodeMed Dec 23 '16 at 23:56

A variant of @NarūnasK's

readarray() {
  local i=0
  unset -v "$1"
  while IFS= read -r "$1[i++]"; do :; done
  eval "[[ \${$1[--i]} ]]" || unset "$1[i]"


$ readarray a < <(seq 10)
$ printf '%s\n' "${a[2]}"

Potentially you can replace it with simple while loop:

function map_my_array()
  local i=0
  while IFS='' read -r line || [[ -n "${line}" ]]; do
  done < "${my_file}"

echo 'cat /etc/passwd' > "${fpath}"
chmod +x "${fpath}"

map_my_array <("${fpath}")

echo "${my_array[3]}"
  • This does not execute the script. The echo line does not print anything.. I need it itorun the .sh file and then move what the script echoes out into the array. – CodeMed Dec 22 '16 at 23:04

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