I am looking for a way to echo names and values of all env variables that start with nlu_setting, so the output might look like:


does anyone know how to do this?

  • Environment variables? Or shell variables? The difference is important, as it rules in/out several answers. – JdeBP Aug 4 '18 at 8:45
for var in "${!nlu_setting_@}"; do
    printf '%s=%s\n' "$var" "${!var}"

The expansion ${!nlu_setting_@} is a bash-specific expansion that returns a list of variable names matching a particular prefix. Here we use it to as for all names that start with the string nlu_setting_. We loop over these names and output the name along with the value of that variable.

We get the value of the variable using variable indirection (${!var}).

  • do you think this is better than the compgen solution? – Alexander Mills Aug 4 '18 at 7:47
  • @AlexanderMills I would say that it will be more efficient as it's not calling grep. Your solution would also pick up variable names that contain nlu_setting_ anywhere, not just at the start of the variable name (due to the non-anchored regular expression that you are using). – Kusalananda Aug 4 '18 at 7:53
  • ah yes good point – Alexander Mills Aug 4 '18 at 17:11

After looking at the answers to this question, I came up with this:

   compgen -A variable nlu_setting_ | while read v; do
            echo "$v = ${!v}";

it seems to work. Never heard of the compgen command, but if it's universal bash built-in, it should be all good..

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