My file contains


I am trying to replace a value starts with ABC*_ with XYZ12_

sed -i 's/ABC\.*_/XYZ12_/g' INCR.parm

Above is the sed command i have used. It is not throwing any error but value is not changing.Could someone please help me with this ?


With sed, the way to implement non-greedy matching is to specify a set of character you don't want to match:

sed -i 's/=ABC[^_]*_/=XYZ12_/g' INCR.parm

That is: match "ABC" followed by zero or more non-underscore characters followed by underscore.

And note, you don't escape the dot. A "bare" dot means "match any character"; an escaped dot means "match a literal dot". You weren't making any replacements because none of the data matches the literal string "ABC."

  • 1
    You might want to match the = as well, or the start of the word ABC in some other way (\<). Otherwise they will do weird things to lines like ...=BOOABC09_.... – Kusalananda Jun 28 '18 at 13:20

Dont escape the "." that matches all characters [ Greedy]

sed -i 's/ABC.*_/XYZ12_/g' INCR.parm



If you want to replace ABC* only uptill first underscore ( _ ) [Lazy], you need to use perl regex


perl -pe  's/ABC(.*?)_/XYZ12_/g' INCR.parm



'Greedy' means match longest possible string.

'Lazy' means match shortest possible string.

  • Thanks for this..It worked. But have some issue when there is a tab or space before $Param* (sample " $Param_T=ABC12_T2") . Value is not getting replaced. – user_297020 Jun 28 '18 at 11:02
  • I dont think so it should be a problem, can you update the question with the exact values you need to get replaced , i tried with your sample and its working for me – Arushix Jun 28 '18 at 11:18
  • " $Param_STG_V=DTST49_SA_STG_RKEM2_V" " $Param_SIM_T=DTST49_SA_SIM_RKEM2" " $Param_SIM_V=DTST49_SA_SIM_RKEM2_V" " $Param_WRK_T=DTST49_TMP_LOAD_UTILITY" Above is my sample data, I have to replace with DTST49 with DDEV25, – user_297020 Jun 28 '18 at 11:23
  • have added quotes as it is not accepting space or tab before – user_297020 Jun 28 '18 at 11:24
  • urplease edit the question and add your sample, as it is not very clear – Arushix Jun 28 '18 at 12:05

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