The Bash provides one-dimensional array variables. By asking for indexes not in the array you either create an array with indexes missing, ie 0,1,3,6,7,9 This would then mean you have "holes" at positions - 2,4,5,8 and nothing in any index after 9 However, you create your array using the following: There is no maximum limit on the size of an array, nor any requirement that members be indexed or assigned contiguously. We can display the length of the whole array or any array element by using a special operator '#'. Arrays in Bash. Elements in arrays are frequently referred to by their index number, which is the position in which they reside in the array. Now the myarray contains 3 elements so bash split string into array was successful # /tmp/split-string.sh My array: string1 string2 string3 Number of elements in the array: 3 . As if this was not complicated enough, with "declare -p", you do not get the type or the original variable. Since bash 4.3 it is not that easy anymore. Bash does not support multi-dimensional arrays, but there is a way to imitate this functionality, if you absolutely have to. There are the associative arrays and integer-indexed arrays. As a quick example, here’s a data table representing a two-dimensional array. You don't need this declare -p command in your real script. In BASH script it is possible to create type types of array, an indexed array or associative array. Unlike in many other programming languages, in bash, an array is not a collection of similar elements. Method 3: Bash split string into array using delimiter. When using arrays, one must know how many elements are present in the array. Arrays are indexed using integers and are zero-based. echo "${array[@]}" Print all elements as a single quoted string These index numbers are always integer numbers which start at 0. Since bash does not discriminate string from a number, an array can contain a mix of strings and numbers. Bash arrays have numbered indexes only, but they are sparse, ie you don't have to define all the indexes. With "declare -n" you can add a reference to another variable and you can do this over and over again. @nath declare -p is just a quick way to make bash print the real array (index and contents). Any variable may be used as an array; the declare builtin will explicitly declare an array. Instead, bash provides a special operator who does all the work for us. Bash Array – An array is a collection of elements. In Bash, there are two types of arrays. No, you need not count them all. This is a pretty common problem in bash, to reference array within arrays for which you need to create name-references with declare -n.The name following the -n will act as a nameref to the value assigned (after =).Now we treat this variable with nameref attribute to expand as if it were an array and do a full proper quoted array expansion as before. Execute the script. 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