I have the following awk statement

awk '/^string$/{i=1;next} i && i++ <= 2' file

This will search for string and then print 2 lines down.

So as an example

$ cat file

$ awk '/^string$/{i=1;next} i && i++ <= 2' file
$ bbb

What I want to do is change the 2 into a counter, so that I can iterate 10 lines down each time. For example

for i in {1..5}
   awk '/^111$/{i=1;next} i && i++ <= $i' file

That of course does not work and I am not sure if this is even possible as the command is encapsulated in the loop.

For reference, what I want to do is check within a config file (file.cfg) for a value [header] and see if a variable is enabled (variable = enabled)

For example

cat file.cfg
# nothing
variable = enabled

I guess the key attributes are that [header] will be on an undetermined line (it could be line 1 it could be line 122)

And variable is not always going to be the second line after [header], some people might put it 7 places down, others 2 places down.

Hope that makes sense and thanks in advance.


If your config file is build up using [header] lines followed by variable=value lines you can use the following command to get all the values from a specific section:

sed -n '/^\[header\]/,/^\[/p' /path/to/file.cfg|grep -vE '?\s?[;#]'

The sed part will filter all the lines from the [header] up to (and including) the next line starting with a [ character. The grep command will filter out lines which have a ; or # as starting character.

Instead of sed you might use awk. Based on an earlier answer on question https://stackoverflow.com/questions/17988756/how-to-select-lines-between-two-marker-patterns-which-may-occur-multiple-times-w:

awk '/\[header\]/{print; flag=1; next}/\[/{flag=0}flag' file.cfg

You can append the grep command as above if you want to filter out commented lines.

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In the shell you can concatenate strings if they are juxtaposed with no intervening spaces, eg:

echo 'abc$def'"and so on"
abc$defand so on

So in your example simply exit the (') string and start a (") string so your $i can be interpolated by the shell:

awk '/^111$/{i=1;next} i && i++ <= '"$i" file

Also, if your [header] strings are easily distinguishable from the data lines, you can just use awk's ability to run a command when between two lines. Eg:

seq 10 | awk '/6/,/9/{print}'

will print lines 6 to 9. So instead of doing your own counting, and assuming [header1] is a typical header syntax (so you need to escape the [), you could use something like

awk '/^\[header1]/,/^\[header2]/ { print }'
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