Prototype: readintarray(array, filename, comment, split, maxentries, maxbytes)
Prototype: readrealarray(array, filename, comment, split, maxentries, maxbytes)
Prototype: readstringarray(array, filename, comment, split, maxentries, maxbytes)

Return type: int

Description: Populates array with up to maxentries values, parsed from the first maxbytes bytes in file filename.

Reads a two dimensional array from a file. One dimension is separated by the regex split, the other by the lines in the file. The first field of the lines names the first array argument.

The comment field will strip out unwanted patterns from the file being read, leaving unstripped characters to be split into fields. Using the empty string ("") indicates no comments.

Returns the number of keys in the array, i.e., the number of lines matched.


  • array : Array identifier to populate, in the range [a-zA-Z0-9_$(){}\[\].:]+
  • filename : File name to read, in the range "?(/.*)
  • comment : Unanchored regex matching comments, in the range .*
  • split : Unanchored regex to split lines into fields, in the range .*
  • maxentries : Maximum number of entries to read, in the range 0,99999999999
  • maxbytes : Maximum bytes to read, in the range 0,99999999999




     1: 5:7:21:13

Results in:

     array_name[1][0]   1
     array_name[1][1]   5
     array_name[1][2]   7
     array_name[1][3]   21
     array_name[1][4]   13
     array_name[2][0]   2
     array_name[2][1]   19
     array_name[2][2]   8
     array_name[2][3]   14
     array_name[2][4]   14
     array_name[3][0]   3
     array_name[3][1]   45
     array_name[3][2]   1
     array_name[3][3]   78
     array_name[3][4]   22
     array_name[4][0]   4
     array_name[4][1]   64
     array_name[4][2]   2
     array_name[4][3]   98
     array_name[4][4]   99


     at:x:25:25:Batch jobs daemon:/var/spool/atjobs:/bin/bash
     avahi:x:103:105:User for Avahi:/var/run/avahi-daemon:/bin/false    # Disallow login
     beagleindex:x:104:106:User for Beagle indexing:/var/cache/beagle:/bin/bash
     # Daemon has the default shell

Results in a systematically indexed map of the file:

     array_name[daemon][0]   daemon
     array_name[daemon][1]   x
     array_name[daemon][2]   2
     array_name[daemon][3]   2
     array_name[daemon][4]   Daemon
     array_name[daemon][5]   /sbin
     array_name[daemon][6]   /bin/bash
     array_name[at][3]       25
     array_name[at][4]       Batch jobs daemon
     array_name[at][5]       /var/spool/atjobs
     array_name[at][6]       /bin/bash
     array_name[games][3]    100
     array_name[games][4]    Games account
     array_name[games][5]    /var/games
     array_name[games][6]    /bin/bash