I am using multiple text files to set variables and array variables. These are the input arguments to a MATLAB function, that iteratively creates url download strings based on these variables, and then downloads temperature data using MATLAB's websave function. Notably, the MATLAB script uses parfor to parallelise a for loop and spread it over 44 cores on a computing cluster. The MATLAB runs on my laptop, but extremely slowly, that's why I need to run it from the High Performance Cluster.


I am having issues in passing these variables set in the bash script, to the matlab function. And I am left on the MATLAB command line in the end. Note I have tried removing the single quotes from around the variables in the matlab function call, however I get the same error.


cd CRW_Temp_Profiles

# Set Variables
IFS=$'\r\n' GLOBIGNORE='*' command eval  'LatArray=($(cat Lat.txt))'
IFS=$'\r\n' GLOBIGNORE='*' command eval  'LongArray=($(cat Long.txt))'
IFS=$'\r\n' GLOBIGNORE='*' command eval  'SitesArray=($(cat Sites.txt))'
Site=$(echo ${SitesArray[${SLURM_ARRAY_TASK_ID}-1]})

# Check Variables were read properly
echo 'Site is Number '${Site}
echo 'Row-specific LatLons are:'
echo '    deg N = '${LatArray[${SLURM_ARRAY_TASK_ID}-1]}
echo '    deg S = '${LongArray[${SLURM_ARRAY_TASK_ID}-1]}
echo ' All Lats are'
echo ${LatArray[*]}

# run MATLAB function
module load MATLAB
matlab -nodisplay -nojvm -nodesktop -nosplash -r "try; f_Download_CRW_Temp('$LatArray', '$LongArray', "1985", "2019", '$Site', "44", ".csv"); end; quit;"
module purge

Output and Error Message

Site is Number 1
Row-specific LatLons are:
    deg N = -16.5
    deg S = 149.8
 All Lats are
-16.5 -20 -19.5 -11.5 -23.5 -21.5 -31.5 ..... <100 entries of site latitudes> .... 11.2 11.2

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 try; f_Download_CRW_Temp('-16.5', '149.8', 1985, 2019, '1', 44, .csv); end; quit;
Error: Invalid use of operator.

1 Answer 1


I found the solution. When you are putting string variables in the matlab function as arguments, in matlab they would appear in double quotes "", but in the 1-line script the entire matlab call is in double quotes, so you must also escape the argument-specifc double quotes with "\". So the code looks like: matlab -nodisplay -nojvm -nodesktop -nosplash -r "f_Download_CRW_Temp('$LatArray', '$LongArray', \"1985\", \"2019\", '$Site', \"44\", ".csv"); quit;"

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