form_variables - Linux


form_variables extracts form data from a file and stores it in environment variables. It’s commonly used for processing data from HTML forms or CSV files.


form_variables [options] file [var1 [var2 [...]]]


  • -d, –delimiter=DELIMITER: Separator used to split fields (default: ‘,’)
  • -f, –fieldname-format=FORMAT: Format for field names (default: ‘%s’)
  • -h, –help: Print this help message
  • -l, –lineterminator=TERMINATOR: Line terminator to split lines (default: ‘\n’)
  • -m, –max-vars: Maximum number of variables to extract (default: 0, unlimited)
  • -o, –output=FILE: Write output to a file
  • -p, –prefix=PREFIX: Prefix for environment variable names (default: none)
  • -s, –suffix=SUFFIX: Suffix for environment variable names (default: none)
  • -q, –quiet: Suppress output to stdout
  • -v, –verbose: Print verbose output


Extract form data from an HTML file:

form_variables form.html answer question

Extract data from a CSV file:

form_variables data.csv data1 data2 data3

Extract data with a delimiter and store it in a variable:

DATA=`form_variables -d= data.csv`

Common Issues

  • File not found: Ensure the file you’re specifying is in the correct location.
  • Parse errors: Check the file format and ensure it matches the expected format for your use case.
  • No variables extracted: Adjust the field delimiter or line terminator options to match your file’s format.


  • Use xargs to chain form_variables with other commands:
form_variables form.html | xargs -n 2 echo "Answer: {}, Question: {}"
  • Create custom scripts that integrate form_variables into your workflow.

Related Commands

  • env
  • set
  • declare