AWK minimal tutorial

April 24, 2016

AWK is an interpreted programming language. It’s designed for text processing. Input is read line by line and awk script/command is executed.

Basic examples

  • Input processing

    • Get input from input.txt file and process file line by line: awk '{ }' input.txt
    • Get piped input and process output line by line: cat input.txt | awk '{}'
  • Read input.txt and print the 3rd word from each line: awk '{ print $3 }' input.txt

  • Read input line by line, and print each line: cat input.txt | awk '{print $0}'

  • Check for pattern, if found print first word: awk ' /pattern/ {print $1}' input.txt

  • If str matches with 2nd word, print 3rd word: awk '$2=="str" {print $3}' input.txt

  • Specify field saperator for parsed line: awk -F'&' '$2=="str" {print $3}' input.txt
    • Now each field i.e. $1, $2 will be string saperated by ‘&’ unlike ‘space’ is default case.
  • If 1st word partly matches str, then print 3rd word: awk '$1 ~ "str" {print $3}' input.txt

  • Ignorecase string comparision, if 2nd element is “find/Find/fInd/fiND”, then print third element :

    awk '{ if (tolower($2) == "find") print $3}' input.txt

BEGIN, END and NR are some of in-built variables in AWK

  • Variable in awk:
    • BEGIN block runs only once and at beginning.

      awk -v name=Jerry 'BEGIN{printf "Name = %s\n", name}'

  • Add two numbers:

    awk ' BEGIN { a = 50; b = 20; print "(a + b) = ", (a + b) }'

  • Read number of lines in file.
    • END block executes after executing all the awk codes.
    • NR is in-built variable which line number is excuted.

      awk 'END { print NR }' inputfile

  • Using BEGIN, END and NR

    awk 'BEGIN{print "Begin";print "multiple"} {print "Line " NR ":" $0 }END{print "END"} inputfile

  • Looping and other construct are also there, which you can read from here, but above basic stuff will get you started.

References: Tutorials Point:

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