A powerful command, SED

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SED is powerful. It can, besides many other things, substitute, append, remove characters or groups of characters or whole lines in a text file or the console output. You may find it difficult to use, but here is an excellent web page that will help you get going:

Bruce Barnett writes in his article:

Sed is the ultimate stream editor. If that sounds strange, picture a stream flowing through a pipe. Okay, you can’t see a stream if it’s inside a pipe. That’s what I get for attempting a flowing analogy. You want literature, read James Joyce.

Anyhow, sed is a marvelous utility. Unfortunately, most people never learn its real power. The language is very simple, but the documentation is terrible. The Solaris on-line manual pages for sed are five pages long, and two of those pages describe the 34 different errors you can get. A program that spends as much space documenting the errors than it does documenting the language has a serious learning curve.

Do not fret! It is not your fault you don’t understand sed. I will cover sed completely. But I will describe the features in the order that I learned them. I didn’t learn everything at once. You don’t need to either.

Read on…

A powerful command, SED by George Notaras, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Copyright © 2005 - Some Rights Reserved

About George Notaras

George Notaras is the editor of G-Loaded Journal, a technical blog about Free and Open-Source Software. George is a GNU/Linux enthusiast, a self-taught programmer and system administrator. He strongly believes that "knowledge is power" and has created this web site to share the IT knowledge and experience he has gained over the years with other people. George primarily uses CentOS and Fedora and spends some of his spare time developing open-source software. Follow George on Twitter: @gnotaras

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