Parsing key=value pairs in bash
Published on 2010-10-14
Here's a neat text processing trick for Bash. Let's say you have a text file in which you want to replace several words with new words. The words and their replacements are supplied to you as key=value pairs. How can you parse the pairs?
It turns out the
set built-in command will set the shell's positional arguments using the positional arguments you give it. For example:
set foo bar baz echo $1 $2 $3
This would print
foo bar baz. You can use this with a command like
tr that splits text.
Here's a longer example. This code will replace all occurrences of "foo", "bar", and "baz" with "red", "green", and "blue", respectively, in "somefile.txt".
changes="foo=red bar=green baz=blue" for change in $changes; do set -- `echo $change | tr '=' ' '` old=$1 new=$2 sed -i -e "s/$old/$new/g" somefile.txt done
set command, we echo a key=value pair to
tr which replaces the delimiter with a space. This gives
set two positional arguments, which are assigned to