This sed command inserts a tag to the beginning of a file:

sed -i "1s/^/<?php /" file

How can I insert something to the end of each file with sed?

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    { cat file; echo 'END OF FILE'; } > newFile , this works also thanks to sh.*. (not sed but works and simple) – user2362 Dec 12 '11 at 14:20
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    a simple echo "Cool Text" >> file should also do the trick. – Danpe Jun 22 '15 at 15:10

sed -e "\$aTEXTTOEND" is the simplest way.

How it works

$ matches the last line (it's a normal sed address; 4aTEXTTOEND would insert after the fourth line), a is the append command, and TEXTTOEND is what to append.

  • 1
    Escape $ as $$ in a Makefile. – stevesliva Dec 3 '14 at 1:22
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    sed -i -e "\$aTEXTTOEND" <filename> would be the full command. – Lasse Meyer Jul 29 '16 at 19:52
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    this command is not support a new file. ( zero byte) – zw963 Nov 11 '16 at 15:07
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    not working on macos. Not even Jorge Bucaran comment: sed: 1: "$a\NEWLINE\\ ": extra characters after \ at the end of a command – Emanuele Paolini Aug 15 '18 at 16:02
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    In debian 9 it adds a new line instead of adding at the end of the last line. – Luciano Andress Martini Sep 18 '18 at 13:29

No need to use sed in that case. How about

echo "<?php" >> file
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    True enough, but you can guess that the OP's use case is bracketing the file with "<php " and ">", and quoting selected contents all in one go, so he probably really does want a sed fragment. – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Sep 6 '09 at 15:12
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    Also if you'll do this and don't want a newline, use echo -n – Vinko Vrsalovic Sep 6 '09 at 15:15
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    I don't like to guess. Each time I try, I'm wrong. – innaM Sep 6 '09 at 15:38
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    Another reason why the accepted answer is more useful is in the case of prepending this with sudo, which causes this variation to fail since echo is a built-in shell command rather than an executable file found in $PATH – Tony Cesaro Oct 28 '14 at 15:33
  • @TonyCesaro: echo is a built-in but is also a executable file found in $PATH – Zan Lynx Dec 28 '16 at 12:51

Assuming you want to put the ending php tag to the files, then

sed -i '$s/$/\n?>/' file

should do the trick

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    This works nicely in cases where arbitrary manipulation of the last line of input is desired. Thanks! – Jay Taylor Jul 1 '15 at 23:17
  • A decomposed explanation of the command would be greatly appreciated – GGhe Aug 1 '19 at 21:57

Use sed 'append (a)' command. For example, to append two lines at the end of file:

sed -i -e '$a\
foo1 bar1\
foo2 bar2' file

See your original post for the all in one sed command.

find . -type f -exec sed -i -e "1s/^/<?php /" -e "\$s/\$/ ?>/" {} \;

In a simple way to write and make the changes in the contents at a specific line in a file . If you want to insert anything at a specific line number then below command can be used:

sed -i '2i i have started' sheikh.log

where 2i - line number 2 and i stands for inserting . If you have to insert at the last line then use $ in place of 2 . i have started - text to be inserted and sheikh.log is the filename .

We can also make the changes in the line by using the below command

sed -i '2c we have started' sheikh.log

i is changed to we .


First and Last

I would assume that anyone who searched for how to insert/append text to the beginning/end of a file probably also needs to know how to do the other also.

cal |                            \
  gsed -E                        \
       -e     '1i\{'             \
       -e     '1i\  "lines": ['  \
       -e 's/(.*)/    "\1",/'    \
       -e '$s/,$//'              \
       -e     '$a\  ]'           \
       -e     '$a\}'


This is cal output piped to gnu-sed (called gsed on macOS installed via brew.sh) with extended RegEx (-E) and 6 "scripts" applied (-e) and line breaks escaped with \ for readability. Scripts 1 & 2 use 1i\ to "at line 1, insert". Scripts 5 & 6 use $a\ to "at line <last>, append". I vertically aligned the text outputs to make the code represent what is expected in the result. Scripts 3 & 4 do substitutions (the latter applying only to "line <last>"). The result is converting command output to valid JSON.


  "lines": [
    "    October 2019      ",
    "Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa  ",
    "       1  2  3  4  5  ",
    " 6  7  8  9 10 11 12  ",
    "13 14 15 16 17 18 19  ",
    "20 21 22 23 24 25 26  ",
    "27 28 29 30 31        ",
    "                      "
  • While I haven't voted on your question, note that we already have several answers, including an accepted one, that demonstrate the desired result. – Jeff Schaller Oct 22 '19 at 12:12
  • @JeffSchaller The Stack Exchange community is not a forum. Its purpose extends beyond helping the OP get unblocked. The goal is to seed the global knowledge base with many options that seekers can stumble upon when searching for answers. The reason I titled my answer is to help users recognize the utility of this answer before they even click the Google result. – Bruno Bronosky Oct 22 '19 at 16:09

The equivalent of your sed -i '1s/^/<start</' file would be:

sed -i '$s/$/>end>/' file

That will add the text >end> to the last line (without newlines) of the file. Of course, in this case (as in your example also) it needs that the file contains at least one line (not empty).

Using double quotes (as in the selected answer) is not a good idea as then the shell will try to process each $ in the string. The command will convert to:

sed -i "\$s/\$/>end>/" file

Using a (append, end) or i (insert, start) will also insert a newline, demand different calls in BSD and GNU and still need a non-empty file.

For GNU:

$ sed '1i<start<' file
$ sed '$a>end>' file

For BSD:

$ sed '1i\
<start<' file
$ sed '$a\
>end>' file

Or, in shells that allow it (C-string):

$ sed $'1i\\\n<start<' file
$ sed $'$a\\\n>end>' file

Of course, nothing is simpler than:

echo '>end>' >> file

which works with empty files as well.


Without a line/carriage return adding text hello to the end of the line and edit the file in place without outputting to the terminal

sed -i '$s/$/hello/' file
  • 1
    That’s the same as Vinko Vrsalovic’s answer... – Stephen Kitt Jan 21 at 21:55

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