I have an array of 24 elements stored under the array mba_ext.

echo ${mba_ext[13]} gives me expected results.

Now I have created a variable temp="mba_ext"

Now I am trying to copy contents of the array to another array by making use of temp variable. I wrote the code as shown below:

new_array=$(eval echo '$'{${temp}[@]})

When I give echo$new_array I am getting all contents of array getting printed without any index.

When I give echo ${new_array[4]} I am getting no results. Ideally this command should print the content at index location 4.

Can some please help?

  • Why is eval being used? also you have not used any array by doing temp="mba_ext" – Jetchisel Mar 15 at 5:39
  • What if I want to pass mba_ext as a variable and not directly? temp is a variable that should hold name of the array and not the array itself. And I want to pass the variable name to code. – Mohammed Haleem S Mar 15 at 6:49

Based on this answer on Super User.

You can use variable indirection with a proper array […]. The tricky thing is that you have to include the array element (or [@] for all elements) in the variable you're indirecting through.

Example code with the names you used:

mba_ext=('normal' 'with space' 'double"quote' "single'quote" $'new-\n-line' '\backslash')
temparray="${temp}[@]"   # This includes the array name AND "[@]"
printf '<%s>\n' "${new_array[@]}"
| improve this answer | |
  • The temp variable is an unnecessary step, but the ! part is key here. – glenn jackman Mar 15 at 12:31
  • The above solution works perfectly fine. Now I have one small query on top of that. Assume I am declaring variable x as temp_array. i.e., x="temp_array" So as per the answer given above i am expecting something like below to be shown $x="${temp[@]}" But its throwing error. Could you please help me with the error? – Mohammed Haleem S Mar 15 at 12:51
  • declare arrayClone=("${temparray[@]}") --> Works fine declare $type=("${temparray[@]}") --> -bash: syntax error near unexpected token `(' Note: variable type="arrayClone" Can you help me how can i rectify the second line of code @kamil-maciorowski – Mohammed Haleem S Mar 15 at 13:27

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