I have a file which contains a like like this:


and a lot of extra lines which I'm not interested in. I need to transform this line into this:


and drop all other lines from the file. The MOD0 part is not predictable, so I need to match the line by the ^name= pattern. I can perform one substitution (remove the "name="), but how do I tell sed to perform another operation (surround the line with brackets), still on the same matched line? The following command surrounds every line with brackets:

sed -n -e '/^name=/ s/^name=//p; s/^.*$/\[&\]/p'

Use braces:

sed -n '
   /^name=/ {

Note a blank search pattern (as in s///p) reuses the last pattern.


 sed '/^name=/!d;s///p;s/.*/[&]/'

(that is delete the lines that don't start with name= and then process the other ones).

If you just want to replace the name=xxx with [xxx] without also outputting xxx, then you can just do:

sed -n 's/^name=\(.*\)/[\1]/p'

(or remove the p flag to the first s command in the other commands above).

  • This prints two lines for each match. You have to remove the first 'p' action in the first two solutions. Mar 19 '15 at 9:42
  • Thanks! :) I managed to find out that multiple commands can be combined into blocks with braces, but the last command in your answer is simpler a does exactly what I need.
    – myxal
    Mar 19 '15 at 9:43
  • @danielkullmann, that was my assumption on what the OP wanted to do based on his example. I clarify that in the second part of the answer which is why I reversed your edit. Mar 19 '15 at 9:56

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