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I use this

cat foo.txt | sed '/bar/d'

to remove lines containing the string 'bar' in the file.

I would like however to remove those lines and the line directly after it. Preferably in sed, awk or other tool that's available in MINGW32.

It's a kind of reverse of what I can get in grep with -A and -B to print matching lines as well as lines before/after the matched line.

Is there any easy way to achieve it?

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Just for information: I'm analyzing logs in which entries are two-liners. So I want to find an entry matching the pattern and remove it as well as the next line. Hence I don't need to handle consecutive match lines, but thanks anyway for the completeness of your answers! – jakub.g Nov 20 '12 at 9:40

4 Answers 4

up vote 14 down vote accepted

If you have GNU sed (so non-embedded Linux or Cygwin):

sed '/bar/,+1 d'

If you have bar on two consecutive lines, this will delete the second line without analyzing it. For example, if you have a 3-line file bar/bar/foo, the foo line will stay.

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+1 for the length :) In my particular example I don't have consecutive bars so this one is super easy to remember. – jakub.g Nov 20 '12 at 9:30

If bar may occur on consecutive lines, you could do:

awk '/bar/{n=2}; n {n--; next}; 1' < infile > outfile

which can be adapted to delete more than 2 lines by changing the 2 above with the number of lines to delete including the matching one.

If not, it's easily done in sed with @MichaelRollins' solution or:

sed '/bar/,/^/d' < infile > outfile
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+1 for being both concise and general. – jw013 Nov 19 '12 at 20:13
The other plus in the AWK solution is that I can replace /bar/ with /bar|baz|whatever/. In sed that syntax doesn't seem to work. – jakub.g Nov 21 '12 at 9:58

I am not fluent in sed, but it is easy to do so in awk:

awk '/bar/{getline;next} 1' foo.txt 

The awk script reads: for a line containing bar, get the next line (getline), then skip all subsequent processing (next). The 1 pattern at the end prints the remaining lines.


As pointed out in the comment, the above solution did not work with consecutive bar. Here is a revised solution, which takes it into consideration:

awk '/bar/ {while (/bar/ && getline>0) ; next} 1' foo.txt 

We now keep reading to skip all the /bar/ lines.

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To replicate grep -A 100%, you also need to handle any number of consecutive bar lines correctly (by removing the whole block and 1 line after). – jw013 Nov 19 '12 at 17:07

You will want to make use of sed's scripting capabilities to accomplish this.

$ sed -e '/bar/ { 
 }' sample1.txt

Sample data:

$ cat sample1.txt 

The "N" command appends the next line of input into the pattern space. This combined with the line from the pattern match (/bar/) will be the lines that you wish to delete. You can then delete normally with the "d" command.

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How do I type a newline in console? Or this is script-only? – jakub.g Nov 20 '12 at 9:35
@jakub.g: with GNU sed: sed -e '/bar/{N;d}' sample1.txt – Cyrus Jul 27 '14 at 17:51

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