In bash, how to store a return value in a variable?

46

I know some very basic commands in Linux and am trying to write some scripts. I have written a function which evaluates the sum of last 2-digits in a 5-digit number. The function should concatenate this resultant sum in between the last 2-digits and return it. The reason I want to return this value is because I will be using this value in the other function.

Ex: if I have 12345, then my function will calculate 4+5 and return 495.

#!/bin/bash

set -x
echo "enter: "
        read input

function password_formula
{
        length=${#input}
        last_two=${input:length-2:length}
        first=`echo $last_two| sed -e 's/\(.\)/\1 /g'|awk '{print $2}'`
        second=`echo $last_two| sed -e 's/\(.\)/\1 /g'|awk '{print $1}'`
        let sum=$first+$second
        sum_len=${#sum}
        echo $second
        echo $sum

        if [ $sum -gt 9 ]
        then
               sum=${sum:1}
        fi

        value=$second$sum$first
        return $value
}
result=$(password_formula)
echo $result

I am trying to echo and see the result but I am getting the output as shown below.

-bash-3.2$ ./file2.sh 
+++ password_formula
+++ echo 'enter: '
+++ read input
12385
+++ length=8
+++ last_two=85
++++ echo 85
++++ sed -e 's/\(.\)/\1 /g'
++++ awk '{print $2}'
+++ first=5
++++ echo 85
++++ sed -e 's/\(.\)/\1 /g'
++++ awk '{print $1}'
+++ second=8
+++ let sum=5+8
+++ sum_len=2
+++ echo 5
+++ echo 8
+++ echo 13
+++ '[' 13 -gt 9 ']'
+++ sum=3
+++ value=835
+++ return 835
++ result='enter: 
5
8
13'
++ echo enter: 5 8 13
enter: 5 8 13

I also tried to print the result as:

password_formula
RESULT=$?
echo $RESULT

But that is giving some unknown value:

++ RESULT=67
++ echo 67
67

How can I properly store the correct value and print (to double check) on the screen?

Thanks in advance.

This question is tagged with linux bash

~ Asked on 2013-02-21 22:30:21

The Best Answer is


29

The return value (aka exit code) is a value in the range 0 to 255 inclusive. It's used to indicate success or failure, not to return information. Any value outside this range will be wrapped.

To return information, like your number, use

echo "$value"

To print additional information that you don't want captured, use

echo "my irrelevant info" >&2 

Finally, to capture it, use what you did:

 result=$(password_formula)

In other words:

echo "enter: "
        read input

password_formula()
{
        length=${#input}
        last_two=${input:length-2:length}
        first=`echo $last_two| sed -e 's/\(.\)/\1 /g'|awk '{print $2}'`
        second=`echo $last_two| sed -e 's/\(.\)/\1 /g'|awk '{print $1}'`
        let sum=$first+$second
        sum_len=${#sum}
        echo $second >&2
        echo $sum >&2

        if [ $sum -gt 9 ]
        then
               sum=${sum:1}
        fi

        value=$second$sum$first
        echo $value
}
result=$(password_formula)
echo "The value is $result"

~ Answered on 2013-02-21 22:37:51


26

Simplest answer:

the return code from a function can be only a value in the range from 0 to 255 . To store this value in a variable you have to do like in this example:

#!/bin/bash

function returnfunction {
    # example value between 0-255 to be returned 
    return 23
}

# note that the value has to be stored immediately after the function call :
returnfunction
myreturnvalue=$?

echo "myreturnvalue is "$myreturnvalue

~ Answered on 2016-02-05 11:57:37


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