I am trying to make a regex expression that will validate a number that is in the range of -100 to 100. I made this regex expression: (^-[1-100]* |^[0-100]*) but it doesn't work as expected.

I am looking for a number pattern in a string, not just a number by itself.

the script:


while read -r line; do
a=( $line )

for i in "${a[@]:1}"; do
if [[ "$i" =~ (^-[1-100]*|^[0-100]*) ]]; then
echo "$i"
done < "$input"

the input file:

add $s0 $s1 $s3
sub $s0 $s1
addi $s1 $s2 76
lw $s2 -50($s2)

the actual result: add $s0 $s1 $s3 sub $s0 $s1 addi $s1 $s2 76 lw $s2 -50($s2)

the expected result: 76 -50($s2).

  • Why do you absolutely want a regex for that? A regex is a good tool... for some cases but not all. Bash has numeric comparison operators. – Patrick Mevzek Mar 29 at 19:20
  • One misconception in your writing: [0-100] will not be parsed as a range from 0 to 100 like you expect, but as 3 items: 0-1, 0, 0. 0-1 will indeed be the range from 0 to 1, so all added [0-100] is the same as [0100] which is just [01] or (0|1). [1-100] will in fact be the exact same thing. [..] is for character classes so things in it are understood character by character. Also the * applies to the token before it and means the token can appear never or once or multiple times (unbounded), so your [0-100]* means in fact: empty string, or unlimited amounts of0or1. – Patrick Mevzek Mar 29 at 19:23

The expression [0-100] isn't a range of integers; it's a set of characters that happens to include a range 0-1 (so matches 0 or 1 or 0 or 0).

To match the range of integers -100 to 100, you could use:

  • a decimal digit [0-9]; optionally followed by
  • a second decimal digit [0-9]


  • the sequence 100

all preceded by an optional sign. So



while read num; do 
 [[ $num =~ ^[-+]?([0-9][0-9]?|100)$ ]] && echo "$num is valid" || echo "$num is invalid"
-101 is invalid
-100 is valid
-83 is valid
22 is valid
100 is valid
102 is invalid
  • when I use this expression I don't get any results – David Mar 29 at 13:06
  • 1
    @David then there are likely other issues with your code: I only tried to answer the "Negative to positive number range in regex in bash scripting" part – steeldriver Mar 29 at 13:13

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