In bash we can use:

  • indexed arrays – one dimensional array, index is number, starting from zero, no limit on the number of elements -> declaring is not required, just add value into indexed variable
  • associative arrays – indexes are strings -> must be declared, works only in bash 4 and above (check it with command: bash –version)


Indexed array:

  • can be initialized using one of these special assignments:
    • myarray=(every word will be stored in different element)
    • myarray=([0]=every [1]=word ….)
  • after this initialization elements are accessible as usual:
    • myarray[0], myarray[1], etc.


Operations with indexed arrays:

  • ${myarray[n]} -> use value of element n of myarray
  • ${myarray} -> use first element (index 0) of myarray
  • ${myarray[*]} or ${myarray[@]} -> use all elements of myarray
  • ${#myarray[*]} or the same with @ -> use number of elements in myarray


Associative arrays:

  • must be declared:
    • declare -A myarray
  • assignment can be done like these:
    • myarray[john]=something; myarray[paul]=somethingelse;
    • myarray([john]=something [paul]=somethingelse)
    • you can use quotes but it does not have any efect: myarray[“john”] or myarray[‘john’] is the same as myarray[john]
  • usage of the values:
    • echo “${myarray[john]}”
  • index can be stored in other variable:
    • indexvar=john
    • echo “${myarray[$indexvar]}”
  • loop over keys:
    • for variable in “${!myarray[@]}”; do
      echo $variable;  #-> prints index
      echo ${myarray[$variable]}; #-> prints value
  • unseting of the whole array:
    • unset myarray
  • deleting keys:
    • unset myarray[john]
  • number of keys in array:
    • echo ${#myarray[@]}