I know this question is basic knowing how to write script, but I didn't learn that yet:

I have a program that takes, as an input, a list like: str_1,str_2, etc. The string is always the same, but the numbers go from 1 to 1,000. Obviously, it is not possible to write this manually, so I want to generate the argument str_1,str_2, etc automatically and then copy it to the shell (or, if there is a better way to do, please let me know).

How can I generate this list?

  • 2
    It depends on the application, do you call it via the shell, with the string as argument? In principal, in python this would be a peace of cake. – Jacob Vlijm Mar 6 '14 at 9:25
  • yes this is what I do. which library would you use in python to do this? – bigTree Mar 6 '14 at 9:30
  • 1
    to make sure: the command is: application_name string? – Jacob Vlijm Mar 6 '14 at 9:32
  • that is correct: python programName arguments (the first argument being the string) – bigTree Mar 6 '14 at 9:37
  • excuse me, having a little difficulties pasting code :) – Jacob Vlijm Mar 6 '14 at 9:56

import os

def create_list(string_input):
    number = 0
    string_list = []
    while number <= 1000:
        number = number+1

command_list = create_list(string_input = "test")
for item in command_list:
    os.system("firefox -new-tab "+item)

This would run firefox 1000 times, opening new tabs with "test1, test2" as url (don't try :))

change "string_input" to your string, "firefox -new-tab" to your application.

edit: I must have had a weak moment, can be much shorter in python as well of course:


import subprocess

command_list = [
    "firefox -new-tab "+"test"+str(number) for number in range(0,1001)
for command in command_list:
| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    btw, I the script is in python3 – Jacob Vlijm Mar 6 '14 at 10:11
  • Python is probably overkill for this task. Also, the os.system call is superseded by subprocess.call(). Also, commands should be specified in a list. – kiri Mar 7 '14 at 22:47
# array=( str_1 str_2 str_3 ... str_1000 )
array=( str_{1..1000} )          

# prints the content of the array as a single string with comma between elements. 
# str_1,str_2,str_3,...,str_1000   
( IFS=,; printf '%s\n' "${array[*]}"; ) 

See http://mywiki.wooledge.org/BashFAQ/005 for more on using arrays in bash.

| improve this answer | |
  • That looks nice! I will look into that, thanks for the link! – Jacob Vlijm Mar 6 '14 at 10:16
  • ./mystring.bash $(tt=$(echo str_{1..1000}) ; echo ${tt// /,}) – c4f4t0r Mar 6 '14 at 13:15

This will work nicely in Bash only:

array=( str_{1..1000} )
joined_array="$(printf '%s,' "${array[@]}")"
echo "${joined_array%,}"

The last echo line is to omit the trailing comma.

First line of the commands is from geirha's answer.

| improve this answer | |

There are, as always, plenty of solutions.

Personally, for such a simple thing as this, neither do I write a whole Python script, nor do I declare arrays in bash or change the internal field separator.

Instead I just write something like this, right from the command line, in one line:

for i in {1..1000}; do printf str_$i,; done

This will output a string str_1,str_2,...,str_1000,. Depending on the level of automation you need, if you would like to strip the trailing , then one of an estimated gajillion possibilities is to use sed:

for i in {1..1000}; do printf str_$i,; done | sed 's/,$//;'

giving you str_1,str_2,...,str_1000.


It just came to me that since you only want to do a print, you can even do without an explicit loop. Short & crisp:

echo str_{1..1000} | sed 's/ /,/g'

The latter command also gives you str_1,str_2,...,str_1000.

Explanation: The echo str_{1..1000} outputs str_1 str_2 ... str_1000. The sed 's/ /,/g' replaces all whitespaces by commas.

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