I have a situation where i want to replace a particular string in many files

Replace a string AAA with another string BBB but there are lot of strings starting with AAA or ending in AAA ,and i want to replace only one on line 34 and keep others intact.

Is it possible to specify by line number,on all files this string is exactly on 34th line.

migrated from serverfault.com Apr 2 '13 at 13:49

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.


You can specify line number in sed or NR (number of record) in awk.

awk 'NR==34 { sub("AAA", "BBB") }'

or use FNR (file number record) if you want to specify more than one file on the command line.

awk 'FNR==34 { sub("AAA", "BBB") }'


sed '34s/AAA/BBB/'

to do in-place replacement with sed

sed -i '34s/AAA/BBB/' file_name

lets suppose that you want to replace the third line in the file_record:

sed -i "s/`head -3 file_record | tail -1 `/replaced/" file_record
  • use back quote before head and after -1 ... here it is not taking it – RAMAN Dec 19 '17 at 8:22
  • 1
    This just isn't going to work. It needs some heavy-duty escaping. And what if the third line is duplicated elsewhere? – Sparhawk Dec 19 '17 at 9:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.