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

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28
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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 ...
15
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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 ...
6
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2answers
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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 ...
96
votes
5answers
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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?
44
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6answers
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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 ...
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 ...
51
votes
4answers
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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 ...
1
vote
1answer
102 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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1answer
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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 ...
68
votes
5answers
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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 ...
12
votes
4answers
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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 ...
12
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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?
7
votes
1answer
747 views

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
votes
1answer
191 views

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 ...
6
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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 ...
3
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2answers
996 views

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 ...
9
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2answers
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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 ...
9
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2answers
824 views

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: ...
5
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2answers
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find command with regex {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 ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

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
votes
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
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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")) ) ...
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 =~ ...
2
votes
4answers
841 views

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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4answers
722 views

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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4answers
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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] ...
20
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6answers
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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 ...
17
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11answers
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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 ...
2
votes
1answer
187 views

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"] ...
2
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?
7
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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
votes
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 ...
5
votes
4answers
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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 ...
5
votes
1answer
323 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
85 views

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, ...
3
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2answers
184 views

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+
3
votes
1answer
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Get all regex matches between two patterns and print them to file

I've got a file with a bunch of long lines. I'd like to grab every group between two patterns and print them to a new file, one match per line. I could manage to do this with Python, but I'd prefer ...
0
votes
2answers
59 views

Find all characters “[1-777])” at the beginning of the line

Pseudocommand perl -pe 'g/^[1-777])/g' data.txt where I try to all numbers at the beginning of a line with ")" following them etc 1), 67) and 777). Data where all question numbers should (etc 1), ...
0
votes
2answers
73 views

To match only innermost environment by Regex

I want to match the innermost environment of begin{question} and its corresponding end{question}. Example data \section{Takayasu arteritis} \begin{question} {You get a patient. What do you notice ...
9
votes
1answer
910 views

grep: display filename once, then display context with line numbers

Our source code has error codes scattered throughout. Finding them is easy with grep, but I'd like a bash function find_code that I can execute (eg. find_code ####) which will provide output along ...
6
votes
1answer
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Why do I have to escape a “dot” twice?

I know that we can escape a special character like *(){}$ with \ so as to be considered literals. For example \* or \$ But in case of . I have to do it twice, like \\. otherwise it is considered ...
6
votes
3answers
234 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
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Lowercase all but the first (Uppercase) letter from UPPERCASE in cyrillic

To make all letters a lower case except the first letter. The first letter would look like "Uppercase" after I changed (from UPPERCASE in cyrillic). The rest (not UPPERCASED) leave unchanged. I'm ...
4
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3answers
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How can I find and replace only if a match forms a whole word?

My script is: n="y" while [ "{n}" = "y" ] if [ $n == "n" ]; then break; fi echo "n is $n" do read -p "Enter the word to find = " word read -p "Enter word to replace = " replace ...
4
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2answers
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Find and regex

What am I doing wrong with this find expression? ; touch ook ooks ; find . -name 'ook' -or -name 'ooks' -type f ./ook ./ooks ; find . -name 'ook[s]?' -type f [returns nothing] ; echo $? 0
4
votes
1answer
891 views

Is there a tool in linux that allows multi-line regex expressions?

I'm wanting to find the results of a multi-line regular expression in linux. I tried grep, but like most linux utilities it's line based. Is there something similar that allows me to search across ...
4
votes
1answer
328 views

Trouble with grep -o regex

I'm trying to use a grep command with the --only-matching flag, but it's not behaving as I would expect it to. This command: echo "1/2/3/4/5" | grep -oE "^([^/]+/){0,2}" Gives this output: 1/2/ ...
3
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3answers
447 views

sed - how to (not) match unmatched brackets

How can I do my operation only on lines that close their brackets? For example I want to change ".is" lines and add a bracket but not for lines with unclosed brackets. so these are changed ...
2
votes
3answers
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grep to find words with all vowels

Using grep -E and regular expressions I need to find words containing all of a group of characters in no particular order. For instance a word containing all vowels (aeiou) however the vowels can ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

Context of the matching regular expression

I'm using egrep with the -o option in order to just get the matching part of the line, e.g. cat /usr/share/dict/words | egrep -o '(aa|ii)' Now I'd like to see some context of the match, i.e. a few ...