Manipulation of text by programs, scripts, etc.

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174
votes
5answers
61k views

Why is printf better than echo?

I have heard that printf is better than echo and I can recall only one instance from my experience where I had to use printf because echo didn't work for feeding some text into some program on RHEL ...
40
votes
4answers
20k views

Why is `while IFS= read` used so often, instead of `IFS=; while read..`?

It seems that normal practice would put the setting of IFS outside the while loop in order to not repeat setting it for each iteration... Is this just a habitual "monkey see, monkey do" style, as it ...
42
votes
8answers
57k views

Looping through files with spaces in the names?

I wrote the following script to diff the outputs of two directores with all the same files in them as such: #!/bin/bash for file in `find . -name "*.csv"` do echo "file = $file"; diff ...
27
votes
3answers
12k views

How can I make iconv replace the input file with the converted output?

I have a bash script which enumerates through every *.php file in a directory and applies iconv to it. This gets output in STDOUT. Since adding the -o parameter ( in my experience ) actually writes ...
20
votes
11answers
9k views

Is there a robust command line tool for processing csv files?

I work with CSV files and sometimes need to quickly check the contents of a row or column from the command line. In many cases cut, head, tail, and friends will do the job; however, cut cannot easily ...
28
votes
7answers
6k views

Is there a way to modify a file in-place?

I have a fairly large file (35Gb), and I would like to filter this file in situ (i.e. I don't have enough disk space for another file), specifically I want to grep and ignore some patterns — is there ...
46
votes
2answers
70k views

How can I replace a string in a file(s)?

Replacing strings in files based on certain search criteria is a very common task. How can I replace string foo with bar in all files in the current directory? do the same recursively for sub ...
20
votes
6answers
10k views

Removing control chars (including console codes / colours) from script output

I can use the "script" command to record an interactive session at the command line. However, this includes all control characters and colour codes. I can remove control characters (like backspace) ...
34
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is using a shell loop to process text considered bad practice?

Is using a while loop to process text generally considered bad practice in POSIX shells? As Stéphane Chazelas pointed out, some of the reasons for not using shell loop are conceptual, reliability, ...
14
votes
7answers
2k views

How can I prepend a tag to the beginning of several files?

I need to add PHP tags surrounding a file. It's easy to append them using find . -exec echo "?>" >> '{}' \; but how can I prepend the tag <?php?
12
votes
5answers
13k views

Remove comma between the quotes only in a comma delimited file

I have a input file delimited with commas (,). There are some fields enclosed in double quotes that are having a comma in them. Here is the sample row 123,"ABC, DEV 23",345,534.202,NAME I need to ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

In `while IFS= read..`, why does IFS have no effect?

I might have something absolutely wrong, but it looks convincing to me, that setting IFS as one of the commands in the pre-do/done list has absolutely no effect. The outer IFS (outside the while ...
6
votes
5answers
7k views

Transposing rows and columns

I have a file with the lines like below. title1:A1 title2:A2 title3:A3 title4:A4 title5:A5 title1:B1 title2:B2 title3:B3 title4:B4 title5:B5 title1:C1 title2:C2 title3:C3 title4:C4 title5:C5 ...
34
votes
8answers
6k views

Linux tools to treat files as sets and perform set operations on them

Does anyone know of any linux tool specifically designed to treat files as sets and perform set operations on them? Like difference, intersection, etc?
53
votes
11answers
26k views

how do you sort du output by size?

How do you sort du -sh /dir/* by size? I read one site that said use | sort -n but that's obviously not right. Here's an example that is wrong. [~]# du -sh /var/* | sort -n 0 /var/mail 1.2M ...
6
votes
4answers
14k views

Text between two tags

I wanna retrieve whatever is between these two tags – <tr> </tr> – from an html doc. Now I don't have any specific html requirements that would warrant for an html parser. I just plain ...
3
votes
4answers
215 views

Identifying genes from a list of genes

I have a gene list file. Some thing like this SWT21 SSA1 NRP1 EFB1 TFC3 MDM10 I have another file which also contains the names of these genes in my list along with other ...
21
votes
7answers
6k views

A standard tool to convert a byte-count into human KiB MiB etc; like du, ls1

Is there a standard tool which converts an integer count of Bytes into a human-readable count of the largest possible unit-size, while keeping the numeric value between 1.00 and 1023.99 ? I have my ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Convert output of tree command to json format

Is there a convenient way to convert the output of the *nix command "tree" to JSON format? Edit: I think I didn't describe my problem well enough. My goal is to convert something like: . |-- dir1 | ...
10
votes
5answers
6k views

How do I recursively grep through compressed archives?

I'm trying to find out what modules use Test::Version in cpan. So I've used minicpan to mirror it. My problem is that I need to iterate through the archives that are downloaded, and grep the files ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Why does shell Command Substitution gobble up a trailing newline char?

As per the following example, and as in my recent question In bash, where has the trailing newline char gone?, I want to know "why" it happens x="$(echo -ne "a\nb\n")" ; echo -n "$x" | xxd -p # ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

How to bulk convert all the file in a file system branch between Unix and Windows line break format?

Everybody knows :-) that in Windows plain text files lines are terminated with CR+LF, and in Unix&Linux - with LF only. How can I quickly convert all my source code files from one format to ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

Show only text between 2 matching pattern

I'm going to submit form using cURL, where some of the contents is come from other file, selected using sed If param1 is line matching pattern from other file using sed, below command will works ...
3
votes
4answers
421 views

Shell script or command to Strip text and Binary files excerpts from large Log Files

I need to remove a large binary file (PDF file) from a large log file which is generated daily.This is seriously hogging space on our servers.I need to remove the large PDF from the logs to make the ...
43
votes
4answers
25k views

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 ...
14
votes
14answers
3k views

How to read an IP address backwards?

If we have this string (IP address): 192.168.1.1 How can I derive the (DNS reverse record form) from this string, so it will be shown like 1.1.168.192.in-addr.arpa using a shell script?
20
votes
2answers
937 views

Is there a reason why ls does not have a --zero or -0 option

This question was prompted by questions about ls' -1 option and the recurring tendency of people to ask question and answers that includes processing the output of ls. This reuse of the output ls ...
8
votes
2answers
11k views

How to cut (select) a field from text line counting from the end?

I know how to select a field from a line using the cut command. For instance, given the following data: a,b,c,d,e f,g,h,i,j k,l,m,n,o This command: cut -d, -f2 # returns the second field of the ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Fast way to build a test file with every second listed in YYYY-mm-dd HH:MM:SS format

I want to create a large test file with lines containg dates listed by the second, but my method is taking inordinately long... (or at least, that's how it feels :) ... 43 minutes to create only ...
13
votes
5answers
464 views

non-line-oriented tool for string replacement?

I recently asked a question about how to remove the newline character if it occurs after another specific character. Unix text-processing tools are very powerful, but almost all of them deal with ...
6
votes
4answers
18k views

Remove last character from line

I want to remove last character from a line: [root@ozzesh ~]#df -h | awk '{ print $5 }' Use% 22% 1% 1% 59% 51% 63% 5% Expected result: Use 22 1 1 59 51 63 5
4
votes
2answers
997 views

Remove all lines in file A which contain the strings in file B

I have a CSV file users.csv with a list of userNames, userIDs, and other data: username, userid, sidebar_side, sidebar_colour "John Lennon", 90123412, "left", "blue" "Paul McCartny", 30923833, ...
10
votes
6answers
6k views

How can I print lines from file backwards (without using “tac”)?

I have a simple question (I think). I want to print lines from a file backwards without using tac command. Is there any other solution to do such thing with bash?
4
votes
3answers
197 views

Merge files using zipper method / late merge

I am searching for a nice method of merging two or more files line by line using the zipper method (also called late merge). Assuming we have three files, the result should look like this: line1 ...
3
votes
2answers
110 views

Extract information from a text file

I have a text file, i want to search for tags such as the following: <category="SpecificDisease">Type II human complement C2 deficiency</category> <category="Modifier">Huntington ...
2
votes
2answers
69 views

Search and Replace question

I need to find all occurrences of AAsomeArbitraryStringBB and replace it with CCsomeArbitraryStringDD. So AAHelloBB Text AAByeByeBB becomes CCHelloDD Text CCByeByeDD. It's important to note ...
2
votes
2answers
83 views

Merging files by rows

Is it possible to copy the whole rows of File1 in a new File3 following the instruction given by File2 by using a simple bash script using sed or awk? File1: /*two or more columns*/ AC 456324 DC ...
1
vote
1answer
66 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

compare two columns of different files and print if it matches

I am using solaris 10 and Grep options involving -f doesnt work . I have two pipe separated files: file1: abc|123|BNY|apple| cab|234|cyx|orange| def|kumar|pki|bird| file 2 : abc|123| ...
22
votes
6answers
10k views

sort but keep header line at the top

I am getting output from a program that first produces one line that is a bunch of column headers, and then a bunch of lines of data. I want to cut various columns of this output and view it sorted ...
18
votes
4answers
7k views

How to get only the unique results without having to sort data?

$ cat data.txt aaaaaa aaaaaa cccccc aaaaaa aaaaaa bbbbbb $ cat data.txt | uniq aaaaaa cccccc aaaaaa bbbbbb $ cat data.txt | sort | uniq aaaaaa bbbbbb cccccc $ The result that I need is to display ...
20
votes
1answer
1k views

How to implement a horizontal cat? [duplicate]

Standard cat concatenates files line by line (row by row, if you will). I find myself needing a horizontal cat command more and more often recently; i.e. a command that takes a list of files and ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

How to do a continous 'wc -l' with gnu texttools?

I know of course that cat logfile.txt | wc -l 120 will tell me the number of lines in a file. Whereas tail -f logfile.txt will show me the new lines that another program writes to logfile.txt. ...
12
votes
2answers
49k views

Return only the portion of a line after a matching pattern

So pulling open a file with cat and then using grep to get matching lines only gets me so far when I am working with the particular log set that I am dealing with. It need a way to match lines to a ...
16
votes
3answers
12k views

How do I remove certain lines (using line numbers) in a file?

There are specific lines that I want to remove from a file. Let's say it's line 20-37 and then line 45. How would I do that without specifying the content of those lines?
7
votes
2answers
935 views

How to do a text replacement in a big folder hierarchy?

I want to search and replace some text in a large set of files excluding some instances. For each line, I want a prompt asking me if I need to replace that line or not. Something similar to vim's ...
14
votes
6answers
26k views

How to cut part from log file?

I have an 8 Gb log file (Rails production log). I need to cut it between some dates (lines). Which command could I use to do this?
11
votes
1answer
462 views

How to do `head` and `tail` on null-delimited input in bash?

find command can output names of files as a null-delimited strings (if -print0 is provided), and xargs can consume them with -0 option turned on. But in between, it's hard to manipulate that ...
11
votes
4answers
49k views

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
votes
4answers
14k views

How do I append text to the beginning and end of multiple text files in Bash?

I have a directory full of text files. My goal is to append text to the beginning and end of all of them. The text that goes at the beginning and end is the same for each file. Based on code I got ...