I'm trying to store the pathway to a website in an array, but am having trouble.

It is working in the for loop - when I echo the contents of the array, it prints correctly.

In the If/Else, though, I am trying to store a specific part of the array in another variable, and that is not working. When I echo the specific part of the array, it prints nothing.

Here is the code:

#! /bin/sh


for d in /var/www/sites/*/;
do (
    echo "$i: $PATHWAY"
);  let "i++"

read -p 'Enter the number of the website you want to restore. Enter "exit" to quit. ' url

if [ "$url" = "exit" ]
    exit 0

  • why not use select path in /var/www/sites/*; do [...]; done?
    – DopeGhoti
    Oct 20, 2017 at 22:19
  • You are missing a $ on url. Should be: RESTORE_URL=${SITES[$url]}. Also I guess it's not functionally any different but you should use declare -a SITES instead of SITES=()
    – jesse_b
    Oct 20, 2017 at 22:20
  • Does /bin/sh support arrays?
    – Jeff Schaller
    Oct 20, 2017 at 22:37
  • @Jesse_b I had tried it with both of those, previously, and it still did not work. Oct 20, 2017 at 22:52
  • @JeffSchaller, I guess it depends on what OS is being used. /bin/sh is normally a symlink to bash though. @Kimberlie, try again. Your issue is that url doesn't have a $.
    – jesse_b
    Oct 20, 2017 at 23:35

2 Answers 2


This sounds like a good place to use a select statement:

select path in /var/www/sites/* EXIT; do
    if [[ "EXIT" = "$path" ]]; then
        exit 0
        : do stuff here referencing $path
  • I'm not sure select is best for what I need...what the script is doing is listing the sites from the server, and then connecting to another server to pull a backup file. So, the path is just for the sake of displaying what sites are on the server (as they should also be on the backup server), and then I take the filename from there to pull from the backup server. What I was hoping to use an array for is to connect each filename to a number, that the user can enter when going to pull from the backup server. Oct 20, 2017 at 22:55
  • 1
    @KimberlieDavis: that's almost exactly what select does; it displays a numbered list of strings and lets the user enter a number to select one of the strings. Without an array. Oct 21, 2017 at 8:16

Your loop (with my indentation):

for d in /var/www/sites/*/; do
    (   PATHWAY=$d
        echo "$i: $PATHWAY"  )

    let "i++"

Notice how most of the loop body is in a subshell? This means that the changes to those variables won't be seen outside of that subshell, and that they are reset for each iteration in the loop.

Ether change the (...) to {...;} or remove them completely.

A better alternative for the script as a whole would be to use select as DopeGhoti explains.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.