I am trying to execute one .sh script in AIX environment, but it's giving an error at below line

tableList = ( Value1 Value2 Value3 )

I have tried executing the script like below:

  1. sh file1.ksh
  2. I renamed the file to .ksh then executed the file sh ./file1.sh
  • there are no such things as file extensions in Unix: it is just part of the file name. To make it use a different shell you need to run it with a different shell. A cool way to do this is with a #! as the first line of the script. e.g. #!/bin/sh, #!/bin/ksh or #!/bin/bash. Then make the file executable. Nov 16, 2019 at 17:19
  • See also: Spaces in variable assignments in shell scripts. This is also one of those cases where the error message might actually point in the direction of at least the immediate problem.
    – ilkkachu
    Nov 16, 2019 at 19:21

2 Answers 2


The sh shell don't generally understand arrays as they are not part of the POSIX standard. The filename of the script is arbitrary, so a .sh or a .ksh filename suffix means nothing whatsoever.

Also, your array assignment syntax is a bit wrong (too many spaces). Corrected, it would look like

tableList=( Value1 Value2 Value3 )

Note the lack of blanks between the end of the variable's name and the (.

To be able to run your script, you would need to execute it with a shell that implements arrays, such as ksh93, bash, zsh, or yash (depending what other shell constructs you are using). Note that ksh on AIX is ksh88 which has a slightly different syntax for assigning values to arrays (it uses set -A tableList Value1 Value2 Value3).

The best way of running your script with ksh93 is to add a #!-line to the top of the script, pointing to the ksh93 interpreter, and then make the script executable with chmod +x scriptname.

To use the ksh93 shell on AIX, the very first line of the script should look like


After that, don't specify an explicit interpreter on the command line when you run the script:


AFAIR, AIX uses a ksh88 based POSIX shell as /bin/sh

ksh88 does not support

tableList=( Value1 Value2 Value3 )

and this is not required by POSIX.

  • Hi, I have mentioned #!/usr/bin/env bash on the top of script. Nov 17, 2019 at 20:33

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