I have a text file and manage to find the line through output comparison. With the book title and author name.

awk -F ':' '/KungFu Feet|Chuck Norris/'  test.txt

Kungfu Feet:Chuck Norris:12:1:1

Is there any way to delete the line using awk and return the output in a bash file?


I would like to do a check for the following item before i do the deleting using awk

  If (( Book = KungFu Feet  && Author = Chuck Norris )); do
    echo "Item is found unable to delete" 
    echo "Deleting.."  

2 Answers 2


Something like this will do what you want:

$ awk -F ':' '!/KungFu Feet|Chuck Norris/'  test.txt | tee newtest.txt
KungFa Feet|Chuck Narris:12:1:1
KungFe Feet|Chuck Nerris:12:1:1

New file

$ cat newtest.txt 
KungFa Feet|Chuck Narris:12:1:1
KungFe Feet|Chuck Nerris:12:1:1
  • Thanks alot. but i would like to output a if else statement with echo so "if ( $Book = "KungFu Feet" && $Author = "Chuck Norris" ) echo Item found deleting using awk else Item not found.
    – Len
    Jan 27, 2014 at 17:21
  • 1
    @LennonChia - can I ask why? Not being wise, I'm generally curious as to why you want that over what I posted. I'm wondering if there is more to your ultimate goals with your question too.
    – slm
    Jan 27, 2014 at 17:25
  • it work thanks alot for being so helpful but i would like to do a check on my shell script before i do the awk delete. so when the user enter the book and the author there will be a check before i do a awk delete. I am still stuck trying to figure out how to do it using bash. But i am hoping to learn to use awk too. I am sorry if i may be giving the wrong impression i am still trying to learn some of the bash basic , awk and sed function.
    – Len
    Jan 27, 2014 at 17:28
  • @LennonChia - my example doesn't do a awk delete, just creates a 2nd file.
    – slm
    Jan 27, 2014 at 17:31
  • i can rename the file so it alright and delete the old file :)
    – Len
    Jan 27, 2014 at 17:39

Unless you have a need to do this with awk, you might want to try something with grep and sed:

if grep -E "(KungFu Feet|Chuck Norris)" your_file ; then
    # fancy stuff in case string has been matched
    sed -r "/(KungFu Feet|Chuck Norris)/d" < your_file > new_file
    # fancy stuff in case it hasn't

If you need POSIX sed compatibility, you'll have to expand the regex for sed (grep in recent POSIX versions supports the -E option):

sed -r "/KungFu Feet/d;/Chuck Norris/d" < your_file > new_file

Some version of sed also allow in-place changes through the -i option.

Re-reading the answer, you would probably need to match just "KungFu Feet:Chuck Norris" in both sed and grep. This is of course thanks to the extremely simple format of your data.


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