How To Use readarray Command To Read 2D Array in Bash

How To Use readarray Command To Read 2D Array in Bash

How To Use readarray Command To Read 2D Array in Bash

You may need to manipulate 2D arrays in your Bash scripts if you are a developer or Linux user. The readarray command is one method to read a 2D array in Bash. The readarray command is an integral Bash command for reading input into an array. This article describes how to use the readarray command in Bash to read a 2D array.

What is a 2D Array in Bash?

How To Use readarray Command To Read 2D Array in Bash

In Bash, a two-dimensional array is a collection of values organized in rows and columns. Row and column numbers are used to identify each value in a 2D array. For instance, [0][1] refers to the value in the first row and second column of a 2D array.

Using the readarray Command

How To Use readarray Command To Read 2D Array in Bash

The readarray command populates an array with input. To use readarray to read a 2D array, you must first create an array variable and then use readarray to read data into the array. Here’s an illustration:

    declare -A myArray
    readarray -t myArray[0] <<< "1 2 3"
    readarray -t myArray[1] <<< "4 5 6"
    readarray -t myArray[2] <<< "7 8 9"
    echo "${myArray[0][0]} ${myArray[0][1]} ${myArray[0][2]}"
    echo "${myArray[1][0]} ${myArray[1][1]} ${myArray[1][2]}"
    echo "${myArray[2][0]} ${myArray[2][1]} ${myArray[2][2]}"

In this example, an associative array variable named “myArray” is declared first. The readarray command is then used to read input into each array node. The -t option is used to remove each array element’s terminating newline character. Finally, we display the values of each array element using echo.


Bash’s readarray command is a potent instrument for reading input into an array. Bash’s readarray command makes it simple to read input into a 2D array. This article explains how to read a 2D array in Bash using the readarray command.

If you are a developer or Linux user, mastering Bash commands can significantly enhance your workflow and efficiency. The readarray command is one of the many built-in Bash commands that can be used to simplify scripting duties.

When working with 2D arrays in Bash, it is essential to remember that unlike other programming languages, Bash does not provide native support for 2D arrays. Using associative arrays and the readarray command, it is possible to effectively manipulate 2D arrays in Bash.

In addition to the readarray command, there are numerous other useful Bash commands for manipulating arrays, including array slicing, appending, and deleting.

By comprehending Bash commands such as readarray, you can become a more productive developer or Linux user. Bash’s readarray command provides a straightforward and efficient method for reading input into a 2D array. You can easily incorporate this command into your scripting duties and achieve better results with a little practice.
It is also essential to note that optimizing your Bash scripts can help you achieve improved performance and reduce the execution time of your scripts. One method to improve the performance of your scripts is to reduce the number of external commands you employ. External commands include grep, awk, and sed, which are executed outside of the Bash interpreter. These commands may execute slowly and substantially lengthen the duration of your scripts’ execution.

Whenever feasible, use built-in Bash commands instead of external commands to further optimize your scripts. The Bash shell executes built-in commands, which can result in quicker execution times.

In addition to optimizing your Bash scripts, it is essential to adhere to best practices when composing them. This includes using descriptive variable names, annotating your code, and separating your code into modular functions in order to enhance its readability and maintainability.

You can become a more efficient and effective developer or Linux user by adhering to these best practices and conquering the use of Bash commands such as readarray. Whether you are working on a minor or large scripting project, Bash can help you accomplish your goals.
In addition, it is crucial to comprehensively test your Bash scripts before deploying them to production environments. This can help you identify errors or issues before they affect users or systems.

Using automated testing frameworks like BashUnit or shUnit2 to test your Bash scripts is one approach. These frameworks enable you to write unit tests for your Bash scripts, allowing you to identify and resolve issues before they become problematic.

Use shellcheck, a static analysis tool for Bash scripts, to verify your Bash scripts as well. Shellcheck can assist in identifying prevalent problems such as syntax errors, variable scoping issues, and security vulnerabilities.

In conclusion, mastering Bash commands such as readarray can help you become a more efficient developer or Linux user. You can ensure that your Bash scripts are dependable, maintainable, and secure by optimizing your scripts, adhering to best practices, and testing your code exhaustively. You can employ the power of Bash to automate tasks, streamline workflows, and increase your productivity with practice and attention to detail.

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