scphantm scphantm - 6 months ago 95x
Bash Question

multi-dimensional arrays in BASH

I am planning a script to manage some pieces of my Linux systems and am at the point of deciding if I want to use or .

I would prefer to do this as a Bash script simply because the commands are easier, but the real deciding factor is configuration. I need to be able to store a multi-dimensional array in the configuration file to tell the script what to do with itself. Storing simple key=value pairs in config files is easy enough with bash, but the only way I can think of to do a multi-dimensional array is a two layer parsing engine, something like


but the marshall/unmarshall code could get to be a bear and its far from user friendly for the next poor sap that has to administer this. If i can't do this easily in bash i will simply write the configs to an xml file and write the script in python.

Is there an easy way to do this in bash?

thanks everyone.


Bash does not support neither multidimensional arrays, neither hashes, and it seems that you want a hash that values are arrays. This solution is not very beautiful, a solution with an xml file should be better :

array=('d1=(v1 v2 v3)' 'd2=(v1 v2 v3)')
for elt in "${array[@]}";do eval $elt;done
echo "d1 ${#d1[@]} ${d1[@]}"
echo "d2 ${#d2[@]} ${d2[@]}"