Bash: iterate in a list of variables

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I have a list of groups, in which I have people's names:

group1="Kyliane Justine Noemie Marion"
group2="Julie Lilou"
group3="Lena Celeste"

and so on...

I want to check how many times the name of a person of a group appears in a file that is named according to the group number (ex: group1.txt).

So I have:

for person in $group1
number=$(grep -oi "$person" /path/group1.txt | wc -l)
echo $person "wrote" $number "times."

that works fine.

BUT, what I would like, is to check each group members in each group file, not only $group1 in /path/group1.txt, but also $group2 in /path/group2.txt, and so on... I know I can copy-paste my code and just change group1 by group2, group3, and so on. But I'm sure there is a quicker way especially as I have 12 groups! I'm a beginner in bash and I don't know how to do that.

Thanks a lot for your help.

answered question

1 Answer


Use an array instead of separate variables.

groups=("Kyliane Justine Noemie Marion" "Julie Lilou" "Lena Celeste")
for group in "$groups[@]"
    for person in $group
        number=$(grep -oi "$person" /path/group1.txt | wc -l)
        echo $person "wrote" $number "times."

As a general rule, whenever you find yourself creating variables with sequential names, you probably should be using an array or similar data structure. This applies across most programming languages.

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