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How do I compare two string variables in an 'if' statement in Bash?


Question

I'm trying to get an if statement to work in Bash (using Ubuntu):

#!/bin/bash

s1="hi"
s2="hi"

if ["$s1" == "$s2"]
then
  echo match
fi

I've tried various forms of the if statement, using [["$s1" == "$s2"]], with and without quotes, using =, == and -eq, but I still get the following error:

[hi: command not found

I've looked at various sites and tutorials and copied those, but it doesn't work - what am I doing wrong?

Eventually, I want to say if $s1 contains $s2, so how can I do that?

I did just work out the spaces bit... :/ How do I say contains?

I tried

if [[ "$s1" == "*$s2*" ]]

but it didn't work.

2020/01/17
1
618
1/17/2020 3:04:14 PM

Accepted Answer

For string equality comparison, use:

if [[ "$s1" == "$s2" ]]

For string does NOT equal comparison, use:

if [[ "$s1" != "$s2" ]]

For the a contains b, use:

if [[ $s1 == *"$s2"* ]]

(and make sure to add spaces between the symbols):

Bad:

if [["$s1" == "$s2"]]

Good:

if [[ "$s1" == "$s2" ]]
2020/06/15
883
6/15/2020 1:30:01 PM

You need spaces:

if [ "$s1" == "$s2" ]
2010/11/25

You should be careful to leave a space between the sign of '[' and double quotes where the variable contains this:

if [ "$s1" == "$s2" ]; then
#   ^     ^  ^     ^
   echo match
fi

The ^s show the blank spaces you need to leave.

2016/09/20

I suggest this one:

if [ "$a" = "$b" ]

Notice the white space between the openning/closing brackets and the variables and also the white spaces wrapping the '=' sign.

Also, be careful of your script header. It's not the same thing whether you use

#!/bin/bash

or

#!/bin/sh

Here's the source.

2015/01/17

Bash 4+ examples. Note: not using quotes will cause issues when words contain spaces, etc. Always quote in Bash IMO.

Here are some examples Bash 4+:

Example 1, check for 'yes' in string (case insensitive):

if [[ "${str,,}" == *"yes"* ]] ;then

Example 2, check for 'yes' in string (case insensitive):

if [[ "$(echo "$str" | tr '[:upper:]' '[:lower:]')" == *"yes"* ]] ;then

Example 3, check for 'yes' in string (case sensitive):

 if [[ "${str}" == *"yes"* ]] ;then

Example 4, check for 'yes' in string (case sensitive):

 if [[ "${str}" =~ "yes" ]] ;then

Example 5, exact match (case sensitive):

 if [[ "${str}" == "yes" ]] ;then

Example 6, exact match (case insensitive):

 if [[ "${str,,}" == "yes" ]] ;then

Example 7, exact match:

 if [ "$a" = "$b" ] ;then
2020/01/17

I would suggest:

#!/bin/bash

s1="hi"
s2="hi"

if [ $s1 = $s2 ]
then
  echo match
fi

Without the double quotes and with only one equals.

2020/01/17

Source: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/4277665
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