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sed & awk



1. Field/Column processor

2. Supports egrep-compatible (POSIX) RegExes

3. Can return full lines like grep

4. Awk runs 3 steps:

a. BEGIN – optional

b. Body, where the main action(s) take place

c. END – optional

5. Multiple body actions can be executed by separating them using semicolons. e.g. ‘{ print $1; print $2 }’

6. Awk, auto-loops through input stream, regardless of the source of the stream. e.g. STDIN, Pipe, File


1. awk ‘/optional_match/ { action }’ file_name | Pipe

2. awk ‘{ print $1 }’ grep1.txt print 1st column

Note: Use single quotes with awk, to avoid shell interpolation of awk’s variables

3. awk ‘{ print $1,$2 }’ grep1.txt

Note: Default input and output field separators is whitespace

4. awk ‘/linux/ { print } ‘ grep1.txt – this will print ALL lines containing ‘linux’

5. awk ‘{ if ($2 ~ /Linux/) print}’ grep1.txt print if colmun 2 = Linux ; awk ‘{if ($1 ~ /ali/) print $1,$2,$3 }’ /etc/passwd

6. awk ‘{ if ($2 ~ /8/) print }’ /var/log/messages – this will print the entire line for log items for the 8th

7. awk ‘{ print $3 }’ /var/log/messages | awk -F: ‘{ print $1}’

Sed – Stream Editor


1. Faciliates automated text editing

2. Supports RegExes (POSIX)

3. Like Awk, supports scripting using ‘-F’ option

4. Supports input via: STDIN, pipe, file


1. sed [options] ‘instruction[s]’ file[s]

2. sed -n ‘1p’ grep1.txt – prints the first line of the file

3. sed -n ‘1,5p’ grep1.txt – prints the first 5 lines of the file

4. sed -n ‘$p’ grep1.txt – prints the last line of the file

5. sed -n ‘1,3!p’ grep1.txt – prints ALL but lines 1-3

6. sed -n ‘/linux/p’ grep1.txt – prints lines with ‘linux’

7. sed -e ‘/^$/d’ grep1.txt – deletes blank lines from the document

8. sed -e ‘/^$/d’ grep1.txt > sed1.txt – deletes blank lines from the document ‘grep1.txt’ and creates ‘sed1.txt’

9. sed -ne ‘s/search/replace/p’ sed1.txt

10. sed -ne ‘s/linux/unix/p’ sed1.txt

11. sed -i.bak -e ‘s/3/4’ sed1.txt – this backs up the original file and creates a new ‘sed1.txt’ with the modifications indicated in the command

Note: Generally, to create new files, use output redirection, instead of allowing sed to write to STDOUT

Note: Sed applies each instruction to each line


About Ali abdo

Ali 32 years old from Egypt working as system engineer riding motorcycle to Support and develop Egyptian tourism, spread motorcycling.

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