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I am trying to extract some URLs from a web page using cURL command. Initially, I use the cURL command as below.

curl www.website.com/

Now, the website contains links to some other websites which am interested in extracting. So, I do a grep on the cURL command as below.

curl www.website.com/ | grep "<a href=" > new1.txt

It is extracting all lines which have <a href= in them. But am particularly interested only in lines which start with <a href= and end with title=

How can I modify the grep command?

  • 2
    If that's all you need, you can do grep "<a href=.*title=" but this can get complicated when parsing HTML. – terdon Feb 10 '14 at 19:31
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This should work:

curl www.website.com/ | grep '^<a href=.*title=$' > new1.txt

This will select all lines that begin with <a href= and end in title=

Just saw Terdon's comment. You can use -P option with grep and make a non-greedy aka lazy alternative as follows:

curl www.website.com/ | grep -P '^<a href=.*?title=$' > new1.txt
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Keeping in mind that HTML is not a regular language, and parsing it with regular expressions is nigh-impossible, you could try:

... | grep '^<a href=.*title=.*' > ...

Edit: Saw that you specified lines that start with <a href; the caret takes care of that condition.

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