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[Discuss] Bourne Shell variable assignment question

On 12/15/2011 04:22 PM, Ben Eisenbraun wrote:
> On Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 03:57:04PM -0500, Jerry Feldman wrote:
>> I have not done my homework on this as much as I should.
>> A coworker needs to set variable names and values input from another
>> file. Normally, I would source that file, but he specifically wants to
>> parse the file.
>> So, in simple terms, he has a file that has something like:
>> var1=foo
>> Instead of sourcing he wants to parse the file using readline so he
> Readline is a library for that command line apps can use for command
> editing and history. It's not part of the shell, and I don't think it can
> be used the way you're suggesting.
> -b
> --
> the wages of gin is breath.                                  <anonymous>
I meant read and not readline.
The real issue is:
I have a variable called varname that contains "myvar"
I want to be able to use the content of varname to name a variable so
that myvar becomes a variable.
In the specific case, my coworker is reading something like"

What he wants to do is the equivalent of sourcing this code, but he
wants to read it from a file.
IFS="=" # This is not the correct way, but I'm just using it as an example
read varname varvalue
### In this case varname contains "myvar", and vavalue contains "foo"
But, what he wants to end up with is a variable called "myvar"
containing "foo".

### What he wants to do does not make sense to me when sourcing the file
will work just fine.

Jerry Feldman <gaf at>
Boston Linux and Unix
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