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AWK(1)                    BSD General Commands Manual                   AWK(1)

     awk -- pattern-directed scanning and processing language

     awk [-F fs] [-v var=value] [-safe] [-d[N]] [prog | -f filename] file ...
     awk -version

     awk is the Bell Labs' implementation of the AWK programming language as
     described in the The AWK Programming Language by A. V. Aho, B. W.
     Kernighan, and P. J. Weinberger.

     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
     filename.  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 filename, and is executed at the time it
     would have been opened if it were a filename.

     The options are as follows:

     -d[N]   Set debug level to specified number N.  If the number is omitted,
             debug level is set to 1.

     -f filename
             Read the AWK program source from specified file filename, instead
             of the first command line argument.  Multiple -f options may be

     -F fs   Set the input field separator FS to the regular expression fs.

     -mr NNN, -mf NNN
             Obsolete, no longer needed options.  Set limit on maximum record
             or fields number.

     -safe   Potentially unsafe functions such as system() make the program
             abort (with a warning message).

     -v var=value
             Assign the value value to the variable var before prog is
             executed.  Any number of -v options may be present.

             Print awk version on standard output and exit.

     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.

     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

     An action is a sequence of statements.  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 (see next subsection).
     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 of SUBSEP.

     awk operators, in order of decreasing precedence, are:

     (...)  Grouping
     $      Field reference
     ++ --  Increment and decrement, can be used either as postfix or prefix.
     ^      Exponentiation (the ** form is also supported, and **= for the
            assignment operator).
     + - !  Unary plus, unary minus and logical negation.
     * / %  Multiplication, division and modulus.
     + -    Addition and subtraction.
     space  String concatenation.
     < >
     <= >=
     != ==  Regular relational operators
     ~ !~   Regular expression match and not match
     in     Array membership
     &&     Logical AND
     ||     Logical OR
     ?:     C conditional expression.  This is used as expr1 ? expr2 : expr3 .
            If expr1 is true, the result value is expr2, otherwise it is
            expr3.  Only one of expr2 and expr3 is evaluated.
     = += -=
     *= /= %= ^=
            Assignment and Operator-Assignment

   Control Statements
     The control statements are as follows:

           if ( expression ) statement [else statement]
           while ( expression ) statement
           for ( expression ; expression ; expression ) statement
           for ( var in array ) statement
           do statement while ( expression )
           delete array [expression]
           delete array
           exit [expression] expression
           return [expression]
           { [statement ...] }

   I/O Statements
     The input/output statements are as follows:

             Closes the file or pipe expr.  Returns zero on success; otherwise

             Flushes any buffered output for the file or pipe expr.  Returns
             zero on success; otherwise nonzero.

     getline [var]
             Set var (or $0 if var is not specified) to the next input record
             from the current input file.  getline returns 1 for a successful
             input, 0 for end of file, and -1 for an error.

     getline [var] < file
             Set var (or $0 if var is not specified) to the next input record
             from the specified file file.

     expr | getline
             Pipes the output of expr into getline; each call of getline
             returns the next line of output from expr.

     next    Skip remaining patterns on this input line.

             Skip rest of this file, open next, start at top.

     print [expr-list] [> file]
             The print statement prints its arguments on the standard output
             (or to a file if > file or to a pipe if | expr is present),
             separated by the current output field separator OFS, and
             terminated by the output record separator ORS.  Both file and
             expr may be literal names or parenthesized expressions; identical
             string values in different statements denote the same open file.

     printf format [, expr-list] [> file]
             Format and print its expression list according to format.  See
             printf(3) for list of supported formats and their meaning.

   Mathematical and Numeric Functions
     AWK has the following mathematical and numerical functions built-in:

     atan2(x, y)
             Returns the arctangent of x / y in radians.  See also atan2(3).

             Computes the cosine of expr, measured in radians.  See also

             Computes the exponential value of the given argument expr.  See
             also exp(3).

             Truncates expr to integer.

             Computes the value of the natural logarithm of argument expr.
             See also log(3).

     rand()  Returns random number between 0 and 1.

             Computes the sine of expr, measured in radians.  See also sin(3).

             Computes the non-negative square root of expr.  See also sqrt(3).

             Sets seed for random number generator ( rand()) and returns the
             previous seed.

   String Functions
     AWK has the following string functions built-in:

     gensub(r, s, h, [t])
             Search the target string t for matches of the regular expression
             r.  If h is a string beginning with g or G, then replace all
             matches of r with s.  Otherwise, h is a number indicating which
             match of r to replace.  If no t is supplied, $0 is used instead.
             Unlike sub() and gsub(), the modified string is returned as the
             result of the function, and the original target is not changed.
             Note that the \n sequences within replacement string s supported
             by GNU awk are not supported at this moment.

     gsub(r, t, [s])
             same as sub() except that all occurrences of the regular
             expression are replaced; sub() and gsub() return the number of

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

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

     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 string.

     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.

     sprintf(fmt, expr, ...)
             Returns the string resulting from formatting expr according to
             the printf(3) format fmt.

     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.

     substr(s, m, [n])
             Returns the at most n-character substring of s starting at
             position m, counted from 1.  If n is omitted, the rest of s is

             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.

   Time Functions
     This awk provides the following two functions for obtaining time stamps
     and formatting them:

             Returns the value of time in seconds since the start of Unix
             Epoch (Midnight, January 1, 1970, Coordinated Universal Time).
             See also time(3).

     strftime([format [, timestamp]])
             Formats the time timestamp according to the string format.
             timestamp should be in same form as value returned by systime().
             If timestamp is missing, current time is used.  If format is
             missing, a default format equivalent to the output of date(1)
             would be used.  See the specification of ANSI C strftime(3) for
             the format conversions which are supported.

   Other built-in functions
             executes cmd and returns its exit status

     Patterns are arbitrary Boolean combinations (with ! || &&) of regular
     expressions and relational expressions.  Regular expressions are as in
     egrep(1).  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.

   Built-in Variables
     Variable names with special meanings:

     ARGC       argument count, assignable

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

     CONVFMT    conversion format used when converting numbers (default

     ENVIRON    array of environment variables; subscripts are names.

     FILENAME   the name of the current input file

     FNR        ordinal number of the current record in the current file

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

     NF         number of fields in the current record

     NR         ordinal number of the current record

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

     OFS        output field separator (default blank)

     ORS        output record separator (default newline)

     RS         input record separator (default newline)

     RSTART     Position of the first character matched by match(); 0 if not

     RLENGTH    Length of the string matched by match(); -1 if no match.

     SUBSEP     separates multiple subscripts (default 034)

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

           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 definition.

     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

         { 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 }

     egrep(1), lex(1), sed(1), atan2(3), cos(3), exp(3), log(3), sin(3),
     sqrt(3), strftime(3), time(3)

     A. V. Aho, B. W. Kernighan, P. J. Weinberger, The AWK Programming
     Language, Addison-Wesley, 1988.  ISBN 0-201-07981-X

     AWK Language Programming, Edition 1.0, published by the Free Software
     Foundation, 1995

     nawk has been the default system awk since NetBSD 2.0, replacing the
     previously used GNU awk.

     There are no explicit conversions between numbers and strings.  To force
     an expression to be treated as a number add 0 to it; to force it to be
     treated as a string concatenate "" to it.

     The scope rules for variables in functions are a botch; the syntax is

BSD                              May 25, 2008                              BSD