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awk - pattern-directed scanning and processing language


awk [ -Ffs ] [ -v var=value ] [ -mrn ] [ -mfn ] [ -f prog [ prog ] [ file ... ]


Awk scans each input file for lines that match any of a set of patterns specified
literally in prog or in one or more files specified as -f file. With each pattern there
can be an associated action that will be performed when a line of a file matches the
pattern. Each line is matched against the pattern portion of every pattern-action
statement; the associated action is performed for each matched pattern. The file name
means the standard input. Any file of the form var=value is treated as an assignment, not
a file name, and is executed at the time it would have been opened if it were a file name.
The option -v followed by var=value is an assignment to be done before prog is executed;
any number of -v options may be present. -F fs option defines the input field separator
to be the regular expression fs.

An input line is normally made up of fields separated by white space, or by regular
expression FS. The fields are denoted $1, $2, ..., while $0 refers to the entire line.
If FS is null, the input line is split into one field per character.

To compensate for inadequate implementation of storage management, the -mr option can be
used to set the maximum size of the input record, and the -mf option to set the maximum
number of fields.

A pattern-action statement has the form

pattern { action }

A missing { action } means print the line; a missing pattern always matches. Pattern-
action statements are separated by newlines or semicolons.

An action is a sequence of statements. A statement can be one of the following:

if( expression ) statement [ else statement ]
while( expression ) statement
for( expression ; expression ; expression ) statement
for( var in array ) statement
do statement while( expression )
{ [ statement ... ] }
expression # commonly var = expression
print [ expression-list ] [ > expression ]
printf format [ , expression-list ] [ > expression ]
return [ expression ]
next # skip remaining patterns on this input line
nextfile # skip rest of this file, open next, start at top
delete array[ expression ]# delete an array element
delete array # delete all elements of array
exit [ expression ] # exit immediately; status is expression

Statements are terminated by semicolons, newlines or right braces. An empty expression-
list stands for $0. String constants are quoted " ", with the usual C escapes recognized
within. Expressions take on string or numeric values as appropriate, and are built using
the operators + - * / % ^ (exponentiation), and concatenation (indicated by white space).
The operators ! ++ -- += -= *= /= %= ^= > >= < <= == != ?: are also available in
expressions. Variables may be scalars, array elements (denoted x[i]) or fields.
Variables are initialized to the null string. Array subscripts may be any string, not
necessarily numeric; this allows for a form of associative memory. Multiple subscripts
such as [i,j,k] are permitted; the constituents are concatenated, separated by the value

The print statement prints its arguments on the standard output (or on a file if >file or
>>file is present or on a pipe if |cmd is present), separated by the current output field
separator, and terminated by the output record separator. file and cmd may be literal
names or parenthesized expressions; identical string values in different statements denote
the same open file. The printf statement formats its expression list according to the
format (see fprintf(2)). The built-in function close(expr) closes the file or pipe expr.
The built-in function fflush(expr) flushes any buffered output for the file or pipe expr.

The mathematical functions exp, log, sqrt, sin, cos, and atan2 are built in. Other built-
in functions:

length the length of its argument taken as a string, or of $0 if no argument.

rand random number on (0,1)

srand sets seed for rand and returns the previous seed.

int truncates to an integer value

utf converts its numerical argument, a character number, to a UTF string

substr(s, m, n)
the n-character substring of s that begins at position m counted from 1.

index(s, t)
the position in s where the string t occurs, or 0 if it does not.

match(s, r)
the position in s where the regular expression r occurs, or 0 if it does not. The
variables RSTART and RLENGTH are set to the position and length of the matched

split(s, a, fs)
splits the string s into array elements a[1], a[2], ..., a[n], and returns n. The
separation is done with the regular expression fs or with the field separator FS if
fs is not given. An empty string as field separator splits the string into one
array element per character.

sub(r, t, s)
substitutes t for the first occurrence of the regular expression r in the string s.
If s is not given, $0 is used.

gsub same as sub except that all occurrences of the regular expression are replaced; sub
and gsub return the number of replacements.

sprintf(fmt, expr, ...)
the string resulting from formatting expr ... according to the printf format fmt

executes cmd and returns its exit status

returns a copy of str with all upper-case characters translated to their
corresponding lower-case equivalents.

returns a copy of str with all lower-case characters translated to their
corresponding upper-case equivalents.

The ``function'' getline sets $0 to the next input record from the current input file;
getline <file sets $0 to the next record from file. getline x sets variable x instead.
Finally, cmd | getline pipes the output of cmd into getline; each call of getline returns
the next line of output from cmd. In all cases, getline returns 1 for a successful input,
0 for end of file, and -1 for an error.

Patterns are arbitrary Boolean combinations (with ! || &&) of regular expressions and
relational expressions. Regular expressions are as in regexp(6). Isolated regular
expressions in a pattern apply to the entire line. Regular expressions may also occur in
relational expressions, using the operators ~ and !~. /re/ is a constant regular
expression; any string (constant or variable) may be used as a regular expression, except
in the position of an isolated regular expression in a pattern.

A pattern may consist of two patterns separated by a comma; in this case, the action is
performed for all lines from an occurrence of the first pattern though an occurrence of
the second.

A relational expression is one of the following:

expression matchop regular-expression
expression relop expression
expression in array-name
(expr,expr,...) in array-name

where a relop is any of the six relational operators in C, and a matchop is either ~
(matches) or !~ (does not match). A conditional is an arithmetic expression, a relational
expression, or a Boolean combination of these.

The special patterns BEGIN and END may be used to capture control before the first input
line is read and after the last. BEGIN and END do not combine with other patterns.

Variable names with special meanings:

conversion format used when converting numbers (default %.6g)

FS regular expression used to separate fields; also settable by option -Ffs.

NF number of fields in the current record

NR ordinal number of the current record

FNR ordinal number of the current record in the current file

the name of the current input file

RS input record separator (default newline)

OFS output field separator (default blank)

ORS output record separator (default newline)

OFMT output format for numbers (default %.6g)

SUBSEP separates multiple subscripts (default 034)

ARGC argument count, assignable

ARGV argument array, assignable; non-null members are taken as file names

array of environment variables; subscripts are names.

Functions may be defined (at the position of a pattern-action statement) thus:

function foo(a, b, c) { ...; return x }

Parameters are passed by value if scalar and by reference if array name; functions may be
called recursively. Parameters are local to the function; all other variables are global.
Thus local variables may be created by providing excess parameters in the function


length($0) > 72
Print lines longer than 72 characters.

{ print $2, $1 }
Print first two fields in opposite order.

BEGIN { FS = ",[ \t]*|[ \t]+" }
{ print $2, $1 }
Same, with input fields separated by comma and/or blanks and tabs.

{ s += $1 }
END { print "sum is", s, " average is", s/NR }
Add up first column, print sum and average.

/start/, /stop/
Print all lines between start/stop pairs.

BEGIN { # Simulate echo(1)
for (i = 1; i < ARGC; i++) printf "%s ", ARGV[i]
printf "\n"
exit }



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