Regular expressions are a means of matching a pattern of characters within a string.

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Why does my regular expression work in X but not in Y?

I wrote a regular expression which works well in a certain program (grep, sed, awk, perl, python, ruby, ksh, bash, zsh, find, emacs, vi, vim, gedit, …). But when I use it in a different program (or on ...
24
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How to run grep with multiple AND patterns?

I would like to get the multi pattern match with implicit AND between patterns, i.e. equivalent to running several greps in a sequence: grep pattern1 | grep pattern2 | ... So how to convert it to ...
74
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8answers
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How can I use sed to replace a multi-line string?

I've noticed that, if I add \n to a pattern for substituting using sed, it does not match. Example: $ cat > alpha.txt This is a test Please do not be alarmed $ sed -i'.original' 's/a test\nPlease ...
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sed one-liner to delete everything between a pair of brackets?

I am working with some text that is full of stuff between brackets [] that I don't want. Since I can delete the brackets myself, I don't need the one-liner to do that for me, but I do need a one-liner ...
140
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What is the difference between `grep`, `egrep`, and `fgrep`?

Can any one tell me the technical difference between grep and egrep, and fgrep and provide a suitable example? When do I need to use grep over egrep and vice versa?
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Can grep output only specified groupings that match?

Say I have a file: # file: 'test.txt' foobar bash 1 bash foobar happy foobar I only want to know what words appear after "foobar", so I can use this regex: "foobar \(\w\+\)" The parenthesis ...
4
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2answers
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Why do I need to escape regex characters in sed to be interpreted as regex characters?

It seems e.g. cat sed_data.txt | sed 's/\b[0-9]\{3\}\b/NUMBER/g' that I must escape characters to form a regular expression. In this case I had to escape braces in order to be interpreted as a number ...
9
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What is the definition of a regular expression?

I recently got into a friendly argument with Ghoti about what constitutes a regular expression in the comments to my answer to this question. I claimed that the following is a regular expression: ...
7
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find command with regex quantifier e.g. {1,2}

I have been trying to create a find command string that will find all files that end with a number 1-99 but exclude all others. e.g. I want to find myfile1 myfile99 but not myfile456 and not ...
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1answer
174 views

How to nest global matches with sed?

If I do: sed 's/match/replace/g' I know that sed will substitute replace for every occurrence of match on a line. But what if...? echo "match <please dont match this?>" | sed ...
5
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Renaming files to have lower case extensions with 'rename'

I'm trying to currently rename a large set of files and have been using quite kludgy methods to do so, such as: rename 's:(.*)\.MOV:$1.mov:g' *.MOV rename 's:(.*)\.JPG:$1.jpg:g' *.JPG What I'd ...
147
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How do I grep for multiple patterns?

I want to find all lines in several files that match one of two patterns. I tried to find the patterns I'm looking for by typing grep (foo|bar) *.txt but the shell interprets the | as a pipe and ...
15
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Finding text between two specific characters or strings

Say I have lines like this: *[234]* *[23]* *[1453]* where * represents any string (except a string of the form [number]). How can I parse these lines with a command line utility and extract the ...
9
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4answers
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In a regular expression, which characters need escaping?

In general, which characters in a regular expression need escaping? For example, the following is not syntactically correct: echo '[]' | grep '[]' grep: Unmatched [ or [^ This, however, is ...
6
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splitting textfiles according to a regular expression

By pasting into a text editor, I have a textfile gleaned from an online edition of Wilhelm's Yi Jing translation which I now want to split into 64 unequal parts, according to the 64 hexagrams of the ...
14
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4answers
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Replacing Multiple blank lines with a single blank line in vim / sed

Question more or less says it all. I'm aware that /^$/d will remove all blank lines, but I can't see how to say 'replace two or more blank lines with a single blank line' Any ideas?
10
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Regular expression using \\ vs using \

Why does grep e\\.g\\. <<< "this is an e.g. wow" and grep e\.g\. <<< "this is an e.g. wow" do the same thing? If I add a third slash, it also has the same result. BUT, once I ...
7
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Why are capital letters included in a range of lower-case letters in an awk regex?

$ echo ABC | awk '$0 ~ /^[a-b]/' ABC $ echo ABC | awk '$0 ~ /^[a-a]/' $ echo ABC | awk '$0 ~ /^a/' $ You see. /[a-b]/ captures A, but /[a-a]/ or /a/ doesn't. Why?
6
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1answer
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What is the meaning of this test expression []? [duplicate]

I've seen someone use command: ps -ef | grep [h]ttpd and Output is: apache 25125 31006 0 21:54 ? 00:00:00 /usr/sbin/httpd apache 26869 31006 0 22:04 ? 00:00:00 ...
3
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1answer
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Using regex inside if clause in bash

Look at this if block: #!/bin/bash str="m.m" if [[ "${str}" =~ "m\.m" ]]; then echo "matched" else echo "not matched" exit 1 fi exit 0 This should print "matched", but it doesn't. ...
3
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Wget - Mirroring a full website with requisites on differents hosts

I am trying to make a full static copy of a wordpress website with wget to be browsed without any network connection (all links and images must be converted). The different requisites for the pages ...
10
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3answers
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Match word containing characters beyond a-zA-Z

To match a word one can use \v(\w+) From the vim help :h \w: \w word character: [0-9A-Za-z_] This works exactly as described in the manual. However, I want to match words that contain ...
4
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2answers
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Sed: replacing digits

I am trying to write some install scripts for when I install/upgrade Ubuntu. I'm having trouble with fixing logrotate.d: /var/log/ufw.log { rotate 7 weekly missingok notifempty compress delaycompress ...
2
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2answers
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How to search many files with regular expression and output matches to lines in a new file?

I have 1000's of source files and I would like to find all text that matches a regular expression and then output each match on its own line in a resulting text file. For instance; // a.cs string ...
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How can I “merge” patterns in a single line?

I am doing grep and sed and I get 2 lines of a file that I am interested in. How can I get these lines in a single line ending with the new line character? Now I am getting: pattern1 pattern2 ...
6
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How to select first occurrence between two patterns including them

How can I select first occurrence between two patterns including them. Preferably using sed or awk. I have: text something P1 something content1 content2 something P2 something text something P1 ...
6
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4answers
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How to use regex with AWK for string replacement?

Suppose there is some text from a file: (bookmarks ("Chapter 1 Introduction 1" "#1" ("1.1 Problem Statement and Basic Definitions 23" "#2") ("Exercises 31" "#30") ("Notes and References 42" "#34")) ) ...
4
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sed or tr one-liner to delete all numeric digits

So, I have this textfile, and it consists of mostly alphanumeric characters. It's a standard document. But since I copied it and pasted it from a PDF, there are page numbers in there. I don't much ...
3
votes
2answers
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Shell test to find a pattern in a string

I just wanted to ask whether there is any command which would work on common shells (bash, dash, kornshell)? It is supposed to check if the line variable contains any part of the path. if [[ $line =~ ...
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regex matching with “locate”

I'm trying to use the locate command to find files in my home folder, however whenever I try and run this I get no results: locate -i -l 4 --regexp '^\/home\/jack\/[A-Za-z0-9\/\ ]*(My.)*$' I've ...
2
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Stripping all vowels but the first from a set of strings

I have a string comprised of multiple substrings, separated by underscores. For example: AbcdAEfd_hEgdgE_AbAAAAA. I need to remove all vowels except the first from each substring. So: AbcdAEfd -> ...
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Replace text between brackets

I'm using awk '{ gsub(/BAR|WIBBLE/, "FOO"); print }' to replace text in data like: SOMETHING [BAR, WIBBLE] SOMETHING [BAR] This gives the desired result of: SOMETHING [FOO, FOO] SOMETHING [FOO] ...
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How to grep an xml block in an xml file using a keyword in ksh

I have a file Sample.xml which contains a lot of services inside it and the structure looks like this Notes: I cannot use any XML parser tool as I don't have permission , read only My xmllint ...
38
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How to use find command to search for multiple extensions

I can get all jpg images by using: find . -name "*.jpg" But how can I add png files to the results as well?
13
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How can I “grep” patterns across multiple lines?

It seems I am misusing grep/egrep. I was trying to search for strings in multiple line and could not find a match while I know that what I'm looking for should match. Originally I thought that my ...
21
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Regex for all 10 letter words, with unique letters

I am trying to write a regex that will display all words that are 10 characters long, and none of the letters are repeating. So far, I have got grep --colour -Eow '(\w{10})' Which is the very ...
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There must be a better way to replace single newlines only?

I am in the habit of writing one line per sentence because I typically compile things to LaTex, or am writing in some other format where line breaks get ignored. I use a blank line to indicate the ...
14
votes
1answer
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How to “grep” for line length *not* in a given range?

NOTE: This question is the complement of this Q&A: How to "grep" for line length in a given range? How can we grep for lines that have less than 8 or more than 63 characters, none ...
8
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Negative lookbehind/ahead assertions in Linux less pager (or vim)

I want to find all instances of "index" not followed by .php in a log using less. /index(?!\.php) does not work. Is this possible? What is the regex for less and vim (do they differ?). Is this not ...
7
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1answer
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Using Modifiers of Perl-compatible Regex (PCRE) in grep

According to grep --help and man grep, we can use the -P option in order to interpret the pattern as a Perl regular expression (PCRE, to be precise), instead of the default POSIX basic regular ...
7
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vim search numbers containing specific number of digits

I need to find specific length numbers in a big document. I tried to use regex for this. For example, If I need to search for numbers with exactly 2 digits, I use /d/d (i.e. /d twice followed by a ...
3
votes
2answers
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Find all lines in a file with a certain character at a certain position

I have a lab question asking me to use grep with a regex pattern to match every word where the third letter from the beginning of the line is an "a" and save it with a redirect. How can I do that?
2
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1answer
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To write this Pseudocode with Regex

I am doing a Makefile which I run regularly by Crontab every day at 0230 crontab -e; 30 2 * * * /bin/thePseudocode Python-like Pseudocode directories = ["Cardiology", "Rheumatology", "Surgery"] ...
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History of Bash globbing

Is there a historical reason why Bash "globbing" and regular expressions are not identical? For example, I believe that in Bash [1-2]* matches anything that starts with a 1 or a 2 followed by anything ...
7
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1answer
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Why do some regex commands have opposite intepretations of '\' with various characters?

Take, for example, this command: find . -regex ".*\.\(cpp\|h\)" This will find all the .h and .cpp files in your directory. The period character '.' in regular expressions usually means "any ...
6
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Execute a command within 'sed'

I have a list of random memory addresses saved in a text file, and I need to sed them out, decode them, and save them back to my file. However, the decoding operation I'm trying to perform is handled ...
6
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2answers
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Print specific Exif image data values with exiv2

How do I print the image Exif date with a tool like exiv2? My goal is to write the image year and month into separate variables. Do I really have to parse the output with regex or is there a ...
4
votes
1answer
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Regex this question format into LaTeX

1. Lorem ipsun la la la? 1. Sopor 2. Stupor 3. Torpor 2. A patient has Lorem? 1. Sopor 2. Stupor 3. Somnolentia 4. La 5. Coma 3. Doesn't Response to strong external irritants is short. Tendon, ...
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Why can't find -regex match a newline?

Why does this fail? touch "$(printf "a\nb")"; find . -regex './.\n.' I also tried these, none of which work: find . -regextype posix-extended -regex '.\n.' find . -regextype posix-awk -regex ...
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Sed: modify every non-first word repetition for every word in text

Can you help me to do something like that using sed? qq ab xyz ab qq aa ab Becomes: qq ab xyz +ab+ +qq+ aa +ab+