Compare/Difference of two arrays in bash


Question

Is it possible to take the difference of two arrays in bash.
Would be really great if you could suggest me the way to do it.

Code :

Array1=( "key1" "key2" "key3" "key4" "key5" "key6" "key7" "key8" "key9" "key10" )
Array2=( "key1" "key2" "key3" "key4" "key5" "key6" ) 

Array3 =diff(Array1, Array2)

Array3 ideally should be :
Array3=( "key7" "key8" "key9" "key10" )

Appreciate your help.

1
45
8/17/2015 11:53:16 AM

Accepted Answer

If you strictly want Array1 - Array2, then

Array1=( "key1" "key2" "key3" "key4" "key5" "key6" "key7" "key8" "key9" "key10" )
Array2=( "key1" "key2" "key3" "key4" "key5" "key6" )

Array3=()
for i in "${Array1[@]}"; do
    skip=
    for j in "${Array2[@]}"; do
        [[ $i == $j ]] && { skip=1; break; }
    done
    [[ -n $skip ]] || Array3+=("$i")
done
declare -p Array3

Runtime might be improved with associative arrays, but I personally wouldn't bother. If you're manipulating enough data for that to matter, shell is the wrong tool.


For a symmetric difference like Dennis's answer, existing tools like comm work, as long as we massage the input and output a bit (since they work on line-based files, not shell variables).

Here, we tell the shell to use newlines to join the array into a single string, and discard tabs when reading lines from comm back into an array.

$ oldIFS=$IFS IFS=$'\n\t'
$ Array3=($(comm -3 <(echo "${Array1[*]}") <(echo "${Array2[*]}")))
comm: file 1 is not in sorted order
$ IFS=$oldIFS
$ declare -p Array3
declare -a Array3='([0]="key7" [1]="key8" [2]="key9" [3]="key10")'

It complains because, by lexographical sorting, key1 < … < key9 > key10. But since both input arrays are sorted similarly, it's fine to ignore that warning. You can use --nocheck-order to get rid of the warning, or add a | sort -u inside the <(…) process substitution if you can't guarantee order&uniqueness of the input arrays.

28
9/9/2018 12:49:36 PM

echo ${Array1[@]} ${Array2[@]} | tr ' ' '\n' | sort | uniq -u

Output

key10
key7
key8
key9

You can add sorting if you need


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