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I do svn status --show-updates and then I want to either

  • Q1: ignore (not to display) lines that start with ?
  • Q2: display only lines that start with * Note that there are few spaces before * occurs. That means that * is not the first character on the line.

How can I do that?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

You can express those conditions using regular expressions and use grep to filter the results based on those.

The first one is ^?. The carat is a special character that represents the beginning of a line; so that expression matches the beginning of the line immediately followed by a ?.

The second one is ^ *\*. The * is a special character that qualifies the preceding character - it means the preceding character may appear zero or more times. Since * is a special character, the one you're looking for needs to be escaped, hence, \*. So that expression will match the beginning of a line followed by zero or more spaces, followed by an asterisk.

For your first condition, use the -v option for grep to negate the results.

So finally,

svn status --show-updates | grep -v '^?'


svn status --show-updates | grep '^ *\*'

Regular expressions are very powerful, so many Unix tools can use them. They are very much worth learning. There is a great tutorial at regular-expressions.info.

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Great answer. Thank you for nice explanation. – Radek Feb 20 '12 at 5:09
Depending on which grep, the ? may have special meaning. If so, you need to escape it \? – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Feb 20 '12 at 9:07

Q1: A simple way is the following

svn st --show-updates -q

st is the abbreviation for status, and -q for quiet : that will exclude files that aren't already added in the repository.

Q2: if you didn't named your files with a *, you can also do this:

svn status --show_updates|grep -v \*
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