I have two comma delimited files

I will read 1 line from file 1,

I need to find matching lines in file2 including the comma's in between

If I do it literally by typing the line (i.e. copy-n-paste with mouse) I get what I need

If I assign the line to a variable, I get nothing

I'm stumped. I know I am doing something wrong as far as regex matching goes but what ?

Here is an example:

$ pattern=$(head -1 accts.csv)
$ echo $pattern
$ grep "$pattern" all.csv
$ grep "_ccc_net_pfx,_ccc_net_pfx_export" all.csv
  • You can help yourself and answerers by running set -x, running that sequence of commands again, and editing the question to show that too. – JdeBP Sep 20 '18 at 18:18
  • Works for me. As said, try running with the xtrace option. – RudiC Sep 20 '18 at 18:20

Your $pattern variable contains spaces -- or maybe a spurious ^M / CR / \r at the end if accts.csv comes from a windows machine.

You can't see the spaces with echo $pattern, because the variable is not quoted (as it is in the call to grep), and so it's nicely split and trimmed by the IFS mechanism. Try something like echo "{$pattern}" instead.

You should trim it yourself:

$ pattern=$(sed 's/[ \r]//g;q' accts.csv)
  • It was not the spaces but the <CR> (^M) character at the end of each line. Coming from Excel export I presume as I exported these few minutes ago. Once the ^M characters trimmed, it works fine. Thank you for your suggestion and directing me to the correct path – Scott Sep 20 '18 at 19:10

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