LINUX AWK Tutorial Series | Chapter 8

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In this chapter, I am going to discuss, arrays in AWK.


It is a collection of related elements. It avoids using multiple variables and use one array in place of it. It can store both numbers and strings.
Array element values are mapped as index and value mapping.
No array declaration is required. No initialization of the number of elements stored in an array is required.

The syntax for assigning array is 


An index can be a number or string. The string has to be enclosed within double quotes("")

Sample file:

[himanshu@oel7 AWK]$ cat array_file

In array, index need not be defined in sequence. Any new index in the array can be added.

If we need to access an array element then use the following


Example 1:

Printing a simple array

I am just printing the array value. I have created and used awk scripts.

Now let's say I want to check whether an index has a value defined or not.

Here we will use In operator in an array.

Example 2:

I have mentioned if condition which will match if an index is present in an array. If the index is not present then it will not print any thing.

Example 3:

Check for the value on an index is null or not.

I am matching value as month[11] != "" for  not null.

As index 11 is not defined, it will not print anything. But there is a problem with this method, It will actually create an index 11 with a null value if we are comparing in the above-given method.

That's it preferred to use In operator for checking.

See and understand what was done here.

[himanshu@oel7 AWK]$ cat array_file
print month[12] 
if (2 in month)
print "Index 2 has been defined"
if (12 in month)
print "Index 12 has been defined"
if (month[11] != "" )
print "Index 11 is not null"
if (11  in month)
print "Index 11 is null"
[himanshu@oel7 AWK]$ awk -f array_file
Index 2 has been defined
Index 12 has been defined
Index 11 is null

More chapters to continue.

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