[R] Declare BASH Array Using R System Function

arun smartpink111 at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 29 15:11:23 CEST 2013

 system("names=(X Y); echo ${names[0]}")
#sh: 1: Syntax error: "(" unexpected

#this worked for me:
 system("bash -c 'names=(X Y); echo ${names[0]}'")


----- Original Message -----
From: Dario Strbenac <dstr7320 at uni.sydney.edu.au>
To: "r-help at r-project.org" <r-help at r-project.org>
Sent: Sunday, July 28, 2013 10:00 PM
Subject: [R] Declare BASH Array Using R System Function


It is difficult searching for previous posts about this since the keywords are short and ambiguous, so I hope this is not a duplicate question.

I can easily declare an array on the command line.

$ names=(X Y)
$ echo ${names[0]}

I am unable to do the same from within R.

> system("names=(X Y)")
sh: Syntax error: "(" unexpected

Reading the documentation for the system function, it appears to only be relevant for executing commands. What can I do instead to declare a BASH array ? Thanks.

Dario Strbenac
PhD Student
University of Sydney
Camperdown NSW 2050

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