Bash Read Comma Separated CVS File

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How do I read comma separated CVS file under UNIX / Linux / BSD / Mac OS X bash script? My sample file is as follows:

FirstName LastName,DOB,SSN,Telephone,Status

You can use while shell loop to read comma-separated cvs file. IFS variable will set cvs separated to , (comma). read command will read each line and store data into each field.

[ ! -f $INPUT ] && { echo "$INPUT file not found"; exit 99; }
while read flname dob ssn tel status
	echo "Name : $flname"
	echo "DOB : $dob"
	echo "SSN : $ssn"
	echo "Telephone : $tel"
	echo "Status : $status"
done < $INPUT

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

14 comment

  1. script that worked for me

    [ ! -f $INPUT ] &while read Host Group itItemType itKey itValueType itDescription itDelay itHistory itTrends itDataType itUnits itMultiplier itDelta itFormula itParams itSnmpCom itSnmpOid itApplication
            echo "Host : $Host"
            echo "Group : $Group"
            echo "itItemType : $itItemType"
            echo "itKey : $itKey"
            echo "itValueType : $itValueType"
            echo "itDescription : $itDescription"
            echo "itDelay : $itDelay"
            echo "itHistory : $itHistory"
            echo "itTrends : $itTrends"
            echo "itDataType : $itDataType"
            echo "itUnits : $itUnits"
            echo "itMultiplier : $itMultiplier"
            echo "itDelta : $itDelta"
            echo "itFormula : $itFormula"
            echo "itParams : $itParams"
            echo "itSnmpCom : $itSnmpCom"
            echo "itSnmpOid : $itSnmpOid"
            echo "itApplication : $itApplication"
    done < $INPUT
    1. i have used the same code to read my csv file but i cant read the last row of my csv file using while loop. please help.

          1. you can get the last line when you access the variables again outside the loop. using the example discussed in the post:

            while read flname dob ssn tel status
            done < $INPUT
            echo $flname # <—– this will be the last line of the CSV

  2. I have two Csv files one is for daily report purposed and another is for daily data purposed.
    masterreport.csv file format is

    Interface error response CRBT fail,0,1,0,0,0,
    C2S exception,0,1,2,0,2,
    Interface Customer Recharge Not Allowed For Receiver,2240,2078,2050,2007,2363,

    —–Many more up to 45 Rows and 32 column are there
    and every day we have to update the corresponding date part from below mention file.

    Card Group Slab Suspended , 7096

    like how many error’s are coming on that day we have to update the main report , which are not match daily report we put the value 0 on main report.

    i didn’t found any logic how to do this , can any body help this

  3. 15 years working with csv files in bash and I didn’t know this method!

    Thanks a lot.

  4. This was exactly what I needed! I’m using it to import account data from a Zimbra server backup.

    IE account names are stored in the CSV and the script runs the import command with the $flname variable in the appropriate spots.

    I do have a question, How does it know to hit the next line and not just read the first line every time? My assumption is that is what the $IFS & $OLDIFS variables do. But I’m not sure.

  5. This method is only for regular simplest version of CSV. very often fields are in quotation marks and it contains comma. In that situation for row
    read c1 c2 c3 assign

    then this method is not as universal as it should be.

    last problem, very often last row in csv file is not ended with new line. in that situation read has some problem with fetching last row.

    summarizing. this is the simplest way for reading the simplest cvs formatting.

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