QuickRef.ME

Sed

Sed is a stream editor, this sed cheat sheet contains sed commands and some common sed tricks.

#Getting started

#Sed Usage

Syntax

$ sed [options] command [input-file]

With pipeline

$ cat report.txt | sed 's/Nick/John/g'
$ echo '123abc' | sed 's/[0-9]+//g'

#Option Examples

Option Example Description
-i sed -ibak 's/On/Off/' php.ini Backup and modify input file directly
-E sed -E 's/[0-9]+//g' input-file Use extended regular expressions
-n sed -n '3 p' config.conf Suppress default pattern space printing
-f sed -f script.sed config.conf Execute sed script file
-e sed -e 'command1' -e 'command2' input-file Execute multiple sed commands

#Multiple commands

$ echo "hello world" | sed -e 's/h/H/g' -e 's/w/W/g'
Hello World

Use -e to execute multiple sed commands

#Sed script

$ echo 's/h/H/g' >> hello.sed
$ echo 's/w/W/g' >> hello.sed
$ echo "hello world" | sed -f hello.sed
Hello World

Use -f to execute sed script file

#Examples

$ sed 's/old/new/g' file.txt
$ sed 's/old/new/g' file.txt > new.txt

$ sed 's/old/new/g' -i file.txt
$ sed 's/old/new/g' -i.backup file.txt

See: Sed examples

#Sed commands

#Commands

Command Example Description
p sed -n '1,4 p' input.txt Print lines 1-4
p sed -n -e '1,4 p' -e '6,7 p' input.txt Print lines 1-4 and 6-7
d sed '1,4 d' input.txt Print lines except 1-4
w sed -n '1,4 w output.txt' input.txt Write pattern space to file
a sed '2 a new-line' input.txt Append line after
i sed '2 i new-line' input.txt Insert line before

#Space commands

Command Description
n Print pattern space, empty pattern space, and read next line
x Swap pattern space with hold space
h Copy pattern space to hold space
H Append pattern space to hold space
g Copy hold space to pattern space
G Append hold space to pattern space

See also: File spacing

#Flags

$ sed 's/old/new/[flags]' [input-file]

Flag Description
g Global substitution
1,2... Substitute the nth occurrence
p Print only the substituted line
w Write only the substituted line to a file
I Ignore case while searching
e Substitute and execute in the command line

#Loops commands

Command Description
b lablel Branch to a label (for looping)
t lablel Branch to a label only on successful substitution
(for looping)
:lablel Label for the b and t commands (for looping)
N Append next line to pattern space
P Print 1st line in multi-line
D Delete 1st line in multi-line

#Misc Flags

Flag Description
/ | ^ @ ! # Substitution delimiter can be any character
& Gets the matched pattern
( ) \1 \2 \3 Group using ( and ).
Use \1, \2 in replacement to refer the group

#Sed examples

#Replacing text

Replace all occurrences of a string

$ sed 's/old/new/g' file.txt

Replace only the nth occurrence of a string

$ sed 's/old/new/2' file.txt

Replace replace a string only on the 5th line

$ sed '5 s/old/new/' file.txt

Replace "world" with "universe" but only if the line begins with "hello"

$ sed '/hello/s/world/universe/' file.txt

Remove "" from the end of each line

$ sed 's/\\$//' file.txt

Remove all whitespace from beginning of each line

$ sed 's/^\s*//' file.txt

Remove comments. Even those that are at the end of a line

$ sed 's/#.*$//' file.txt

#Search for text

Search for a string and only print the lines that were matched

$ sed -n '/hello/p' file.txt

Case insensitive search

$ sed -n '/hello/Ip' file.txt

Search for a string but only output lines that do not match

$ sed -n '/hello/!p' file.txt

#Appending lines

Append line after line 2

$ sed '2a Text after line 2' file.txt

Append line at the end of the file

$ sed '$a THE END!' file.txt

Append line after every 3rd line starting from line 3

$ sed '3~3a Some text' file.txt

#Numbering

Number line of a file (simple left alignment)

$ sed = file.txt | sed 'N;s/\n/\t/'

Number line of a file (number on left, right-aligned)

$ sed = file.txt | sed 'N; s/^/   /; s/ *\(.\{6,\}\)\n/\1  /'

Number line of file, but only print numbers if line is not blank

$ sed '/./=' file.txt | sed '/./N; s/\n/ /'

Count lines (emulates "wc -l")

$ sed -n '$='

#Prepending lines

Insert text before line 5

$ sed '5i line number five' file.txt

Insert "Example: " before each line that contains "hello"

$ sed '/hello/i Example: ' file.txt

#Deleting lines

Delete line 5-7 in file

$ sed '5,7d' file.txt

Delete every 2nd line starting with line 3

$ sed '3~2d' file.txt

Delete the last line in file

$ sed '$d' file.txt

Delete lines starting with "Hello"

$ sed '/^Hello/d' file.txt

Delete all empty lines

$ sed '/^$/d' file.txt

Delete lines starting with "#"

$ sed '/^#/d' file.txt

#File spacing

Double space

$ sed G

Delete all blank lines and double space

$ sed '/^$/d;G'

Triple space a file

$ sed 'G;G'

Undo double-spacing

$ sed 'n;d'

Insert a blank line above line which matches "regex"

$ sed '/regex/{x;p;x;}'

Insert a blank line below line which matches "regex"

$ sed '/regex/G'

Insert a blank line around line which matches "regex"

$ sed '/regex/{x;p;x;G;}'

#See also