I have a simple command to return the uptime/load average from a list of servers, and am using awk to format the output:

for i in $(cat servers); do ssh $i -qt "uptime" | awk -F\, -v host=\"$i\" '{ print host, $4, $5, $6 }'; done

This works reasonably well:

"server1"   load average: 0.22  0.37  1.99
"server2"   load average: 0.22  0.37  1.99
"server3"   load average: 5.96  4.39  5.66

Unfortunately, the last field must contain a carriage return, meaning it can't appear anywhere but the end of the command. For example:

for i in $(cat servers); do ssh $i -qt "uptime" | awk -F\, -v host=\"$i\" '{ print host, $6, $5, $4 }'; done


0.64   load average: 0.17"  1.74
0.64   load average: 0.17"  1.74
0.78   load average: 0.15"  3.24

How can I remove the carriage return from either a) the end of the input, or b) the end of field $6?

  • 2
    try removing the -t option from ssh – mosvy Oct 5 '18 at 14:50
  • This worked. Add it as an answer and I'll accept it. – toryan Oct 5 '18 at 16:42

You should remove the -t option from ssh in order to prevent generating the carriage return in the first place.

The -t option directs ssh to allocate a pseudo terminal on the remote machine, and if that terminal has the onlcr flag set (which is the default), every LF (\n) will be translated to CR/LF (\r\n) on output. The -t option is not needed unless a full-screen and/or interactive program is run, like vi or screen.

But if you really have to process lines terminated by CR/LF in awk, setting the record separator to CR/LF at the beginning of your script will do it fine. Example:

awk ... 'BEGIN{RS="\r\n"}{...}'

Also, if you want to remove a stray CR from a field in awk, you can use sub or gsub:


You can remove the trailing \r with sed

ssh $i -qt "uptime" | sed 's/\r$//' | awk ...
# ....................^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Additionally, for best practice, don't read lines from a file with for

  • Thanks for that. I tried rewriting the command to use while, but it doesn't work. Can you help? Command is while IFS= read -r i; do ssh $i -q "uptime" | awk -F\, -v host=\"$i\" '{ print host, $6, $5, $4 }'; done < servers – toryan Oct 5 '18 at 16:36
  • You need to modify the data between its creation (ssh uptime) and its consumption (awk). How does a while loop help with that? – glenn jackman Oct 5 '18 at 16:40
  • I don't know, I was following the instructions in your link. The original question was resolved by removing -t from the ssh command. – toryan Oct 5 '18 at 16:42

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