Prototype: readstringarrayidx(array, filename, comment, split, maxentries, maxbytes)

Return type: int

Description: Populates the two-dimensional array array with up to maxentries fields from the first maxbytes bytes of file filename.

One dimension is separated by the regex split, the other by the the lines in the file. The array arguments are both integer indexes, allowing for non-identifiers at first field (e.g. duplicates or names with spaces), unlike readstringarray.

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 an integer number of keys in the array (i.e., the number of lines matched). If you only want the fields in the first matching line (e.g., to mimic the behavior of the getpwnam(3) on the file /etc/passwd), use getfields(), instead.


  • array : Array identifier to populate, in the range [a-zA-Z0-9_$(){}\[\].:]+
  • filename : A string to parse for input data, in the range "?(/.*)
  • comment : Unanchored regex matching comments, in the range .*
  • split : Unanchored regex to split data, 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




         int =>  readstringarrayidx("array_name","/tmp/array","\s*#[^\n]*",":",10,4000);

Input example:

     at spaced:x:25:25:Batch jobs daemon:/var/spool/atjobs:/bin/bash
     duplicate: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[0][0]       at spaced
     array_name[0][1]       x
     array_name[0][2]       25
     array_name[0][3]       25
     array_name[0][4]       Batch jobs daemon
     array_name[0][5]       /var/spool/atjobs
     array_name[0][6]       /bin/bash
     array_name[1][0]       duplicate
     array_name[1][1]       x
     array_name[1][2]       103
     array_name[1][3]       105
     array_name[1][4]       User for Avahi
     array_name[1][5]       /var/run/avahi-daemon
     array_name[1][6]       /bin/false