The Awk Manual

Peter Kitson

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Sample Chapter From The Awk Manual
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Using this Manual

The term awk refers to a particular program, and to the language you use to tell this program what to do. When we need to be careful, we call the program "the awk utility" and the language "the awk language." The term gawk refers to a version of awk developed as part the GNU project. The purpose of this manual is to explain both the awk language and how to run the awk utility.

The term awk program refers to a program written by you in the awk programming language.

See section Getting Started with awk, for the bare essentials you need to know to start using awk.

Some useful "one-liners" are included to give you a feel for the awk language (see section Useful "One-liners").

A sample awk program has been provided for you (see section Sample Program).

If you find terms that you aren't familiar with, try looking them up in the glossary (see section Glossary).

The entire awk language is summarized for quick reference in section awk Summary. Look there if you just need to refresh your memory about a particular feature.

Most of the time complete awk programs are used as examples, but in some of the more advanced sections, only the part of the awk program that illustrates the concept being described is shown.

  • Sample Data Files: Sample data files for use in the awk programs illustrated in this manual.