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gawk - pattern scanning and processing language



        gawk - pattern scanning and processing language


        gawk [ POSIX or GNU style options ] -f program-file [ -- ] file ...
        gawk [ POSIX or GNU style options ] [ -- ] program-text file ...


        Gawk  is  the  GNU Project’s implementation of the AWK programming lan‐
        guage.  It conforms to the definition of  the  language  in  the  POSIX
        1003.2  Command  Language And Utilities Standard.  This version in turn
        is based on the description in The AWK Programming  Language,  by  Aho,
        Kernighan,  and  Weinberger,  with the additional features found in the
        System V Release 4 version of UNIX awk.  Gawk also provides more recent
        Bell Labs awk extensions, and some GNU-specific extensions.
        The  command  line  consists of options to gawk itself, the AWK program
        text (if not supplied via the -f or --file options), and values  to  be
        made available in the ARGC and ARGV pre-defined AWK variables.
        Gawk options may be either the traditional POSIX one letter options, or
        the GNU style long options.  POSIX options start  with  a  single  “-”,
        while long options start with “--”.  Long options are provided for both
        GNU-specific features and for POSIX mandated features.
        Following the POSIX standard, gawk-specific options  are  supplied  via
        arguments  to  the -W option.  Multiple -W options may be supplied Each
        -W option has a corresponding long option, as  detailed  below.   Argu‐
        ments  to  long options are either joined with the option by an = sign,
        with no intervening spaces, or they may be provided in the next command
        line  argument.  Long options may be abbreviated, as long as the abbre‐
        viation remains unique.


        Gawk accepts the following options.
        -F fs
        --field-separator fs
               Use fs for the input field separator (the value of the FS prede‐
               fined variable).
        -v var=val
        --assign var=val
               Assign  the  value val, to the variable var, before execution of
               the program begins.  Such variable values are available  to  the
               BEGIN block of an AWK program.
        -f program-file
        --file program-file
               Read  the AWK program source from the file program-file, instead
               of from the  first  command  line  argument.   Multiple  -f  (or
               --file) options may be used.
        -mf NNN
        -mr NNN
               Set various memory limits to the value NNN.  The f flag sets the
               maximum number of fields, and the r flag sets the maximum record
               size.   These two flags and the -m option are from the Bell Labs
               research version of UNIX awk.  They are ignored by  gawk,  since
               gawk has no pre-defined limits.
        -W traditional
        -W compat
               Run  in compatibility mode.  In compatibility mode, gawk behaves
               identically to UNIX awk; none of the GNU-specific extensions are
               recognized.   The  use  of  --traditional  is preferred over the
               other forms of this option.  See GNU EXTENSIONS, below, for more
        -W copyleft
        -W copyright
               Print the short version of the GNU copyright information message
               on the standard output, and exits successfully.
        -W help
        -W usage
               Print a relatively short summary of the available options on the
               standard  output.   (Per the GNU Coding Standards, these options
               cause an immediate, successful exit.)
        -W lint
        --lint Provide warnings about  constructs  that  are  dubious  or  non-
               portable to other AWK implementations.
        -W lint-old
               Provide  warnings  about constructs that are not portable to the
               original version of Unix awk.
        -W posix
               This turns on compatibility mode, with the following  additional
               · \x escape sequences are not recognized.
               · Only space and tab act as field separators when FS is set to a
                 single space, newline does not.
               · The synonym func for the keyword function is not recognized.
               · The operators ** and **= cannot be used in place of ^ and  ^=.
               · The fflush() function is not available.
        -W re-interval
               Enable  the  use  of  interval expressions in regular expression
               matching (see Regular Expressions, below).  Interval expressions
               were not traditionally available in the AWK language.  The POSIX
               standard added them, to make awk and egrep consistent with  each
               other.   However, their use is likely to break old AWK programs,
               so gawk only provides them  if  they  are  requested  with  this
               option, or when --posix is specified.
        -W source program-text
        --source program-text
               Use program-text as AWK program source code.  This option allows
               the easy intermixing of library functions (used via the  -f  and
               --file  options)  with  source code entered on the command line.
               It is intended primarily for medium to large AWK  programs  used
               in shell scripts.
        -W version
               Print  version  information  for this particular copy of gawk on
               the standard output.  This is useful mainly for knowing  if  the
               current  copy  of gawk on your system is up to date with respect
               to whatever the Free Software Foundation is distributing.   This
               is  also  useful when reporting bugs.  (Per the GNU Coding Stan‐
               dards, these options cause an immediate, successful exit.)
        --     Signal the end of options.  This  is  useful  to  allow  further
               arguments  to  the AWK program itself to start with a “-”.  This
               is mainly for consistency with the argument  parsing  convention
               used by most other POSIX programs.
        In  compatibility  mode,  any other options are flagged as illegal, but
        are otherwise ignored.  In normal operation, as long  as  program  text
        has  been supplied, unknown options are passed on to the AWK program in
        the ARGV array for processing.  This is particularly useful for running
        AWK programs via the “#!” executable interpreter mechanism.
        An  AWK program consists of a sequence of pattern-action statements and
        optional function definitions.
               pattern   { action statements }
               function name(parameter list) { statements }
        Gawk first reads the program source from the program-file(s) if  speci‐
        fied, from arguments to --source, or from the first non-option argument
        on the command line.  The -f and --source options may be used  multiple
        times  on  the command line.  Gawk will read the program text as if all
        the program-files and command line source texts had  been  concatenated
        together.   This  is  useful  for  building libraries of AWK functions,
        without having to include them in each new AWK program that uses  them.
        It also provides the ability to mix library functions with command line
        The environment variable AWKPATH specifies a search path  to  use  when
        finding  source  files named with the -f option.  If this variable does
        not exist, the default path is ".:/usr/local/share/awk".   (The  actual
        directory  may  vary, depending upon how gawk was built and installed.)
        If a file name given to the -f option contains a “/” character, no path
        search is performed.
        Gawk executes AWK programs in the following order.  First, all variable
        assignments specified via the -v option are performed.  Next, gawk com‐
        piles  the program into an internal form.  Then, gawk executes the code
        in the BEGIN block(s) (if any), and then proceeds  to  read  each  file
        named  in  the  ARGV array.  If there are no files named on the command
        line, gawk reads the standard input.
        If a filename on the command line has the form var=val it is treated as
        a  variable  assignment.   The  variable var will be assigned the value
        val.  (This happens after any BEGIN block(s) have been  run.)   Command
        line  variable assignment is most useful for dynamically assigning val‐
        ues to the variables AWK uses to  control  how  input  is  broken  into
        fields  and records.  It is also useful for controlling state if multi‐
        ple passes are needed over a single data file.
        If the value of a particular element of ARGV is empty (""), gawk  skips
        over it.
        For  each record in the input, gawk tests to see if it matches any pat‐
        tern in the AWK program.  For each pattern that the record matches, the
        associated  action  is  executed.  The patterns are tested in the order
        they occur in the program.
        Finally, after all the input is exhausted, gawk executes  the  code  in
        the END block(s) (if any).
        AWK variables are dynamic; they come into existence when they are first
        used.  Their values are either floating-point numbers  or  strings,  or
        both,  depending  upon how they are used.  AWK also has one dimensional
        arrays; arrays with multiple dimensions may be simulated.  Several pre-
        defined variables are set as a program runs; these will be described as
        needed and summarized below.
        Normally, records are separated by newline characters.  You can control
        how  records are separated by assigning values to the built-in variable
        RS.  If RS is any single character, that character  separates  records.
        Otherwise,  RS is a regular expression.  Text in the input that matches
        this regular expression will separate the record.  However, in compati‐
        bility  mode,  only the first character of its string value is used for
        separating records.  If RS is set to the null string, then records  are
        separated  by blank lines.  When RS is set to the null string, the new‐
        line character always acts as a field separator, in addition  to  what‐
        ever value FS may have.
        As each input record is read, gawk splits the record into fields, using
        the value of the FS variable as the field separator.  If FS is a single
        character,  fields  are separated by that character.  If FS is the null
        string, then each individual character becomes a separate field.   Oth‐
        erwise, FS is expected to be a full regular expression.  In the special
        case that FS is a single space, fields are separated by runs of  spaces
        and/or  tabs  and/or  newlines.   (But  see  the discussion of --posix,
        below).  Note that the value of IGNORECASE (see below) will also affect
        how  fields  are split when FS is a regular expression, and how records
        are separated when RS is a regular expression.
        If the FIELDWIDTHS variable is set to a space separated  list  of  num‐
        bers,  each  field is expected to have fixed width, and gawk will split
        up the record using the specified widths.  The value of FS is  ignored.
        Assigning  a  new  value  to  FS  overrides the use of FIELDWIDTHS, and
        restores the default behavior.
        Each field in the input record may be referenced by its  position,  $1,
        $2,  and  so  on.  $0 is the whole record.  The value of a field may be
        assigned to as well.  Fields need not be referenced by constants:
               n = 5
               print $n
        prints the fifth field in the input record.  The variable NF is set  to
        the total number of fields in the input record.
        References  to  non-existent fields (i.e. fields after $NF) produce the
        null-string.  However, assigning to a non-existent field (e.g., $(NF+2)
        =  5) will increase the value of NF, create any intervening fields with
        the null string as their value, and cause the value of $0 to be  recom‐
        puted, with the fields being separated by the value of OFS.  References
        to negative numbered fields  cause  a  fatal  error.   Decrementing  NF
        causes  the  values  of  fields  past the new value to be lost, and the
        value of $0 to be recomputed, with the fields being  separated  by  the
        value of OFS.
    Built-in Variables
        Gawk’s built-in variables are:
        ARGC        The  number  of  command  line  arguments (does not include
                    options to gawk, or the program source).
        ARGIND      The index in ARGV of the current file being processed.
        ARGV        Array of command line arguments.  The array is indexed from
                    0  to  ARGC - 1.  Dynamically changing the contents of ARGV
                    can control the files used for data.
        CONVFMT     The conversion format for numbers, "%.6g", by default.
        ENVIRON     An array containing the values of the current  environment.
                    The  array  is  indexed  by the environment variables, each
                    element being the  value  of  that  variable  (e.g.,  ENVI     
                    RON["HOME"]  might  be  /home/arnold).  Changing this array
                    does not affect the environment seen by programs which gawk
                    spawns via redirection or the system() function.  (This may
                    change in a future version of gawk.)
        ERRNO       If a system error occurs either  doing  a  redirection  for
                    getline,  during  a  read for getline, or during a close(),
                    then ERRNO will contain a string describing the error.
        FIELDWIDTHS A white-space separated list  of  fieldwidths.   When  set,
                    gawk  parses  the input into fields of fixed width, instead
                    of using the value of the FS variable as the field  separa‐
                    tor.  The fixed field width facility is still experimental;
                    the semantics may change as gawk evolves over time.
        FILENAME    The name of the current input file.  If no files are speci‐
                    fied  on  the  command  line, the value of FILENAME is “-”.
                    However, FILENAME is undefined inside the BEGIN block.
        FNR         The input record number in the current input file.
        FS          The input field separator, a space by default.  See Fields,
        IGNORECASE  Controls the case-sensitivity of all regular expression and
                    string operations.  If IGNORECASE  has  a  non-zero  value,
                    then  string  comparisons  and  pattern  matching in rules,
                    field splitting with FS, record separating with RS, regular
                    expression  matching  with  ~  and  !~,  and  the gensub(),
                    gsub(), index(), match(), split(),  and  sub()  pre-defined
                    functions  will  all ignore case when doing regular expres‐
                    sion operations.  Thus, if IGNORECASE is not equal to zero,
                    /aB/ matches all of the strings "ab", "aB", "Ab", and "AB".
                    As with all AWK variables, the initial value of  IGNORECASE
                    is  zero,  so  all regular expression and string operations
                    are normally case-sensitive.   Under  Unix,  the  full  ISO
                    8859-1  Latin-1  character  set is used when ignoring case.
                    NOTE: In versions of gawk prior  to  3.0,  IGNORECASE  only
                    affected  regular  expression  operations.   It now affects
                    string comparisons as well.
        NF          The number of fields in the current input record.
        NR          The total number of input records seen so far.
        OFMT        The output format for numbers, "%.6g", by default.
        OFS         The output field separator, a space by default.
        ORS         The output record separator, by default a newline.
        RS          The input record separator, by default a newline.
        RT          The record terminator.  Gawk sets RT to the input text that
                    matched  the  character  or regular expression specified by
        RSTART      The index of the first character matched by match();  0  if
                    no match.
        RLENGTH     The  length  of  the  string  matched  by match(); -1 if no
        SUBSEP      The character used to separate multiple subscripts in array
                    elements, by default "\034".
        Arrays  are  subscripted  with an expression between square brackets ([
        and ]).  If the expression is an expression list (expr, expr ...)  then
        the  array subscript is a string consisting of the concatenation of the
        (string) value of each expression, separated by the value of the SUBSEP
        variable.   This  facility  is  used  to  simulate multiply dimensioned
        arrays.  For example:
               i = "A"; j = "B"; k = "C"
               x[i, j, k] = "hello, world\n"
        assigns the string "hello, world\n" to the element of the array x which
        is indexed by the string "A\034B\034C".  All arrays in AWK are associa‐
        tive, i.e. indexed by string values.
        The special operator in may be used in an if or while statement to  see
        if an array has an index consisting of a particular value.
               if (val in array)
                    print array[val]
        If the array has multiple subscripts, use (i, j) in array.
        The in construct may also be used in a for loop to iterate over all the
        elements of an array.
        An element may be deleted from an array  using  the  delete  statement.
        The  delete statement may also be used to delete the entire contents of
        an array, just by specifying the array name without a subscript.
    Variable Typing And Conversion
        Variables and fields may be (floating point) numbers,  or  strings,  or
        both.  How the value of a variable is interpreted depends upon its con‐
        text.  If used in a numeric expression, it will be treated as a number,
        if used as a string it will be treated as a string.
        To force a variable to be treated as a number, add 0 to it; to force it
        to be treated as a string, concatenate it with the null string.
        When a string must be converted to a number, the conversion  is  accom‐
        plished  using atof(3).  A number is converted to a string by using the
        value of CONVFMT as a format string for sprintf(3),  with  the  numeric
        value  of  the variable as the argument.  However, even though all num‐
        bers in AWK are floating-point, integral values are always converted as
        integers.  Thus, given
               CONVFMT = "%2.2f"
               a = 12
               b = a ""
        the variable b has a string value of "12" and not "12.00".
        Gawk  performs  comparisons  as  follows: If two variables are numeric,
        they are compared numerically.  If one value is numeric and  the  other
        has  a  string  value  that is a “numeric string,” then comparisons are
        also done numerically.  Otherwise, the numeric value is converted to  a
        string and a string comparison is performed.  Two strings are compared,
        of course, as strings.  According to the POSIX standard,  even  if  two
        strings  are  numeric strings, a numeric comparison is performed.  How‐
        ever, this is clearly incorrect, and gawk does not do this.
        Note that string constants, such as "57", are not numeric strings, they
        are  string  constants.   The  idea of “numeric string” only applies to
        fields, getline input, FILENAME, ARGV elements,  ENVIRON  elements  and
        the  elements  of an array created by split() that are numeric strings.
        The basic idea is that user input, and  only  user  input,  that  looks
        numeric, should be treated that way.
        Uninitialized  variables  have the numeric value 0 and the string value
        "" (the null, or empty, string).
        AWK is a line-oriented language.  The pattern comes first, and then the
        action.  Action statements are enclosed in { and }.  Either the pattern
        may be missing, or the action may be missing, but, of course, not both.
        If the pattern is missing, the action will be executed for every single
        record of input.  A missing action is equivalent to
               { print }
        which prints the entire record.
        Comments begin with the “#” character, and continue until  the  end  of
        the line.  Blank lines may be used to separate statements.  Normally, a
        statement ends with a newline, however, this is not the case for  lines
        ending  in  a “,”, {, ?, :, &&, or ||.  Lines ending in do or else also
        have their statements automatically continued on  the  following  line.
        In  other  cases,  a  line can be continued by ending it with a “\”, in
        which case the newline will be ignored.
        Multiple statements may be put on one line by separating  them  with  a
        “;”.   This  applies to both the statements within the action part of a
        pattern-action pair (the usual case), and to the pattern-action  state‐
        ments themselves.
        AWK patterns may be one of the following:
               /regular expression/
               relational expression
               pattern && pattern
               pattern || pattern
               pattern ? pattern : pattern
               ! pattern
               pattern1, pattern2
        BEGIN  and  END  are two special kinds of patterns which are not tested
        against the input.  The action parts of all BEGIN patterns  are  merged
        as  if  all  the  statements  had been written in a single BEGIN block.
        They are executed before any of the input is read.  Similarly, all  the
        END blocks are merged, and executed when all the input is exhausted (or
        when an exit statement is executed).  BEGIN and END patterns cannot  be
        combined  with  other  patterns  in pattern expressions.  BEGIN and END
        patterns cannot have missing action parts.
        For /regular expression/ patterns, the associated statement is executed
        for  each  input  record  that matches the regular expression.  Regular
        expressions are the same as  those  in  egrep(1),  and  are  summarized
        A  relational  expression may use any of the operators defined below in
        the section on actions.  These generally test  whether  certain  fields
        match certain regular expressions.
        The  &&,  ||, and !  operators are logical AND, logical OR, and logical
        NOT, respectively, as in C.  They do short-circuit evaluation, also  as
        in  C,  and  are used for combining more primitive pattern expressions.
        As in most languages, parentheses may be used to change  the  order  of
        The  ?:  operator is like the same operator in C.  If the first pattern
        is true then the pattern used for testing is the second pattern, other‐
        wise  it  is  the  third.  Only one of the second and third patterns is
        The pattern1, pattern2 form of an expression is called a range pattern.
        It  matches  all input records starting with a record that matches pat‐
        tern1, and continuing until a record that matches pattern2,  inclusive.
        It does not combine with any other sort of pattern expression.
    Regular Expressions
        Regular  expressions  are  the  extended kind found in egrep.  They are
        composed of characters as follows:
        c          matches the non-metacharacter c.
        \c         matches the literal character c.
        .          matches any character including newline.
        ^          matches the beginning of a string.
        $          matches the end of a string.
        [abc...]   character list, matches any of the characters abc....
        [^abc...]  negated character list, matches any character except abc....
        r1|r2      alternation: matches either r1 or r2.
        r1r2       concatenation: matches r1, and then r2.
        r+         matches one or more r’s.
        r*         matches zero or more r’s.
        r?         matches zero or one r’s.
        (r)        grouping: matches r.
        r{n,m}     One  or two numbers inside braces denote an interval expres‐
                   sion.  If there is one number in the braces,  the  preceding
                   regexp r is repeated n times.  If there are two numbers sep‐
                   arated by a comma, r is repeated n to m times.  If there  is
                   one  number followed by a comma, then r is repeated at least
                   n times.
                   Interval expressions are only available if either --posix or
                   --re-interval is specified on the command line.
        \y         matches  the empty string at either the beginning or the end
                   of a word.
        \B         matches the empty string within a word.
        \<         matches the empty string at the beginning of a word.
        \>         matches the empty string at the end of a word.
        \w         matches any word-constituent character  (letter,  digit,  or
        \W         matches any character that is not word-constituent.
        \              matches  the  empty  string  at  the  beginning  of a buffer
        \              matches the empty string at the end of a buffer.
        The escape sequences that are valid in string constants (see below) are
        also legal in regular expressions.
        Character  classes  are a new feature introduced in the POSIX standard.
        A character class is a special notation for describing lists of charac‐
        ters  that  have  a specific attribute, but where the actual characters
        themselves can vary from country to country and/or from  character  set
        to  character  set.   For  example, the notion of what is an alphabetic
        character differs in the USA and in France.
        A character class is only valid in a regexp inside the  brackets  of  a
        character  list.   Character  classes consist of [:, a keyword denoting
        the class, and :].  Here are the character classes defined by the POSIX
               Alphanumeric characters.
               Alphabetic characters.
               Space or tab characters.
               Control characters.
               Numeric characters.
               Characters  that  are  both  printable and visible.  (A space is
               printable, but not visible, while an a is both.)
               Lower-case alphabetic characters.
               Printable characters (characters that are  not  control  charac‐
               Punctuation  characters (characters that are not letter, digits,
               control characters, or space characters).
               Space characters (such as space, tab, and formfeed,  to  name  a
               Upper-case alphabetic characters.
               Characters that are hexadecimal digits.
        For   example,   before  the  POSIX  standard,  to  match  alphanumeric
        characters, you would have had to write /[A-Za-z0-9]/.  If your charac‐
        ter  set  had  other  alphabetic characters in it, this would not match
        them.  With the POSIX character classes, you can  write  /[[:alnum:]]/,
        and  this  will match all the alphabetic and numeric characters in your
        character set.
        Two additional special sequences can appear in character lists.   These
        apply  to  non-ASCII  character  sets,  which  can  have single symbols
        (called collating elements) that are represented  with  more  than  one
        character,  as  well as several characters that are equivalent for col‐
        lating, or sorting, purposes.  (E.g., in French,  a  plain  “e”  and  a
        grave-accented e` are equivalent.)
        Collating Symbols
               A  collating  symbols  is  a  multi-character  collating element
               enclosed in [.  and .].  For example, if ch is a collating  ele‐
               ment,  then  [[.ch.]]   is  a regexp that matches this collating
               element, while [ch] is a regexp that matches either c or h.
        Equivalence Classes
               An equivalence class is a locale-specific name  for  a  list  of
               characters  that are equivalent.  The name is enclosed in [= and
               =].  For example, the name e might be used to represent  all  of
               “e,”  “e`,”  and  “e`.”   In  this case, [[=e]] is a regexp that
               matches any of
                .BR e ,
                .BR e´ , or
                .BR e` .
        These features are very valuable in non-English speaking locales.   The
        library  functions  that gawk uses for regular expression matching cur‐
        rently only recognize POSIX character classes; they  do  not  recognize
        collating symbols or equivalence classes.
        The  \y, \B, \<, \>, \w, \W, \     , and \      operators are specific to gawk;
        they are extensions based on facilities in the GNU regexp libraries.
        The various command line options control how gawk interprets characters
        in regexps.
        No options
               In  the  default  case, gawk provide all the facilities of POSIX
               regexps and the GNU regexp operators described above.   However,
               interval expressions are not supported.
               Only POSIX regexps are supported, the GNU operators are not spe‐
               cial.  (E.g., \w matches a literal w).  Interval expressions are
               Traditional Unix awk regexps are matched.  The GNU operators are
               not special, interval expressions are not available, and neither
               are  the POSIX character classes ([[:alnum:]] and so on).  Char‐
               acters described by octal and hexadecimal escape  sequences  are
               treated literally, even if they represent regexp metacharacters.
               Allow interval expressions in regexps, even if --traditional has
               been provided.
        Action  statements  are enclosed in braces, { and }.  Action statements
        consist of the usual assignment, conditional,  and  looping  statements
        found  in  most  languages.   The  operators,  control  statements, and
        input/output statements available are patterned after those in C.
        The operators in AWK, in order of decreasing precedence, are
        (...)       Grouping
        $           Field reference.
        ++ --       Increment and decrement, both prefix and postfix.
        ^           Exponentiation (** may  also  be  used,  and  **=  for  the
                    assignment operator).
        + - !       Unary plus, unary minus, and logical negation.
        * / %       Multiplication, division, and modulus.
        + -         Addition and subtraction.
        space       String concatenation.
        < >
        <= >=
        != ==       The regular relational operators.
        ~ !~        Regular  expression match, negated match.  NOTE: Do not use
                    a constant regular expression (/foo/) on the left-hand side
                    of  a  ~  or !~.  Only use one on the right-hand side.  The
                    expression /foo/ ~ exp has  the  same  meaning  as  (($0  ~
                    /foo/) ~ exp).  This is usually not what was intended.
        in          Array membership.
        &&          Logical AND.
        ||          Logical OR.
        ?:          The  C  conditional  expression.  This has the form expr1 ?
                    expr2 : expr3.  If expr1 is true, the value of the  expres‐
                    sion  is  expr2,  otherwise it is expr3.  Only one of expr2
                    and expr3 is evaluated.
        = += -=
        *= /= %= ^= Assignment.  Both absolute assignment  (var  =  value)  and
                    operator-assignment (the other forms) are supported.
    Control Statements
        The control statements are as follows:
               if (condition) statement [ else statement ]
               while (condition) statement
               do statement while (condition)
               for (expr1; expr2; expr3) statement
               for (var in array) statement
               delete array[index]
               delete array
               exit [ expression ]
               { statements }
    I/O Statements
        The input/output statements are as follows:
        close(file)           Close file (or pipe, see below).
        getline               Set $0 from next input record; set NF, NR, FNR.
        getline <file         Set $0 from next record of file; set NF.
        getline var           Set var from next input record; set NR, FNR.
        getline var <file     Set var from next record of file.
        next                  Stop  processing  the  current input record.  The
                              next input record is read and  processing  starts
                              over  with  the first pattern in the AWK program.
                              If the end of the input data is reached, the  END
                              block(s), if any, are executed.
        nextfile              Stop processing the current input file.  The next
                              input record read comes from the next input file.
                              FILENAME  and ARGIND are updated, FNR is reset to
                              1, and processing starts over with the first pat‐
                              tern in the AWK program.  If the end of the input
                              data is reached, the END block(s),  if  any,  are
                              executed.   NOTE:  Earlier  versions of gawk used
                              next file, as two words.   While  this  usage  is
                              still  recognized, it generates a warning message
                              and will eventually be removed.
        print                 Prints the current record.  The output record  is
                              terminated with the value of the ORS variable.
        print expr-list       Prints expressions.  Each expression is separated
                              by the value of the  OFS  variable.   The  output
                              record  is  terminated  with the value of the ORS
        print expr-list >file Prints expressions on file.  Each  expression  is
                              separated  by the value of the OFS variable.  The
                              output record is terminated with the value of the
                              ORS variable.
        printf fmt, expr-list Format and print.
        printf fmt, expr-list >file
                              Format and print on file.
        system(cmd-line)      Execute the command cmd-line, and return the exit
                              status.  (This may not be available on  non-POSIX
        fflush([file])        Flush any buffers associated with the open output
                              file or pipe file.   If  file  is  missing,  then
                              standard  output is flushed.  If file is the null
                              string, then all open output files and pipes have
                              their buffers flushed.
        Other  input/output  redirections  are  also  allowed.   For  print and
        printf, >> file appends output to the file, while | command writes on a
        pipe.  In a similar fashion, command | getline pipes into getline.  The
        getline command will return 0 on end of file, and -1 on an error.
        NOTE: If using a pipe to getline, or from  print  or  printf  within  a
        loop, you must use close() to create new instances of the command.  AWK
        does not automatically close pipes when they return EOF.
    The printf Statement
        The AWK versions of the printf statement and  sprintf()  function  (see
        below) accept the following conversion specification formats:
        %c     An  ASCII character.  If the argument used for %c is numeric, it
               is treated as a character and printed.  Otherwise, the  argument
               is  assumed to be a string, and the only first character of that
               string is printed.
        %i     A decimal number (the integer part).
        %E     A floating point number of the form [-]d.dddddde[+-]dd.  The  %E
               format uses E instead of e.
        %f     A floating point number of the form [-]ddd.dddddd.
        %G     Use  %e or %f conversion, whichever is shorter, with nonsignifi‐
               cant zeros suppressed.  The %G format uses %E instead of %e.
        %o     An unsigned octal number (also an integer).
        %u     An unsigned decimal number (again, an integer).
        %s     A character string.
        %X     An unsigned hexadecimal number (an integer).  The %X format uses
               ABCDEF instead of abcdef.
        %%     A single % character; no argument is converted.
        There  are  optional,  additional parameters that may lie between the %
        and the control letter:
        -      The expression should be left-justified within its field.
        space  For numeric conversions, prefix positive values  with  a  space,
               and negative values with a minus sign.
        +      The  plus sign, used before the width modifier (see below), says
               to always supply a sign for numeric  conversions,  even  if  the
               data  to  be  formatted  is positive.  The + overrides the space
        #      Use an “alternate form” for certain control  letters.   For  %o,
               supply  a  leading zero.  For %x, and %X, supply a leading 0x or
               0X for a nonzero result.  For %e, %E, and %f,  the  result  will
               always  contain a decimal point.  For %g, and %G, trailing zeros
               are not removed from the result.
        0      A leading 0 (zero) acts as a flag, that indicates output  should
               be  padded  with zeroes instead of spaces.  This applies even to
               non-numeric output formats.  This flag only has an  effect  when
               the field width is wider than the value to be printed.
        width  The field should be padded to this width.  The field is normally
               padded with spaces.  If the 0 flag has been used, it  is  padded
               with zeroes.
        .prec  A number that specifies the precision to use when printing.  For
               the %e, %E, and %f formats, this specifies the number of  digits
               you want printed to the right of the decimal point.  For the %g,
               and %G formats, it specifies the maximum number  of  significant
               digits.   For  the %d, %o, %i, %u, %x, and %X formats, it speci‐
               fies the minimum number of digits to print.  For  a  string,  it
               specifies  the maximum number of characters from the string that
               should be printed.
        The dynamic width and prec capabilities of the ANSI C printf() routines
        are supported.  A * in place of either the width or prec specifications
        will cause their values to be taken from the argument list to printf or
    Special File Names
        When  doing I/O redirection from either print or printf into a file, or
        via getline from a file,  gawk  recognizes  certain  special  filenames
        internally.   These  filenames  allow  access  to open file descriptors
        inherited from gawk’s parent process (usually the shell).   Other  spe‐
        cial  filenames  provide  access  to information about the running gawk
        process.  The filenames are:
        /dev/pid    Reading this file returns the process  ID  of  the  current
                    process, in decimal, terminated with a newline.
        /dev/ppid   Reading this file returns the parent process ID of the cur‐
                    rent process, in decimal, terminated with a newline.
        /dev/pgrpid Reading this file returns the process group ID of the  cur‐
                    rent process, in decimal, terminated with a newline.
        /dev/user   Reading this file returns a single record terminated with a
                    newline.  The fields are separated with spaces.  $1 is  the
                    value  of the getuid(2) system call, $2 is the value of the
                    geteuid(2) system call, $3 is the value  of  the  getgid(2)
                    system  call,  and $4 is the value of the getegid(2) system
                    call.  If there are any additional  fields,  they  are  the
                    group  IDs  returned  by getgroups(2).  Multiple groups may
                    not be supported on all systems.
        /dev/stdin  The standard input.
        /dev/stdout The standard output.
        /dev/stderr The standard error output.
        /dev/fd/n   The file associated with the open file descriptor n.
        These are particularly useful for error messages.  For example:
               print "You blew it!" > "/dev/stderr"
        whereas you would otherwise have to use
               print "You blew it!" | "cat 1>&2"
        These file names may also be used on the  command  line  to  name  data
    Numeric Functions
        AWK has the following pre-defined arithmetic functions:
        atan2(y, x)   returns the arctangent of y/x in radians.
        cos(expr)     returns the cosine of expr, which is in radians.
        exp(expr)     the exponential function.
        int(expr)     truncates to integer.
        log(expr)     the natural logarithm function.
        rand()        returns a random number between 0 and 1.
        sin(expr)     returns the sine of expr, which is in radians.
        sqrt(expr)    the square root function.
        srand([expr]) uses  expr as a new seed for the random number generator.
                      If no expr is provided, the time of  day  will  be  used.
                      The return value is the previous seed for the random num‐
                      ber generator.
    String Functions
        Gawk has the following pre-defined string functions:
        gensub(r, s, h [, t])   search the target string t for matches  of  the
                                regular  expression r.  If h is a string begin‐
                                ning 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  sup‐
                                plied, $0 is used instead.  Within the replace‐
                                ment text s, the sequence  \n,  where  n  is  a
                                digit from 1 to 9, may be used to indicate just
                                the text that matched  the  n’th  parenthesized
                                subexpression.   The sequence \0 represents the
                                entire matched text, as does the  character  &.
                                Unlike sub() and gsub(), the modified string is
                                returned as the result of the function, and the
                                original target string is not changed.
        gsub(r, s [, t])        for each substring matching the regular expres‐
                                sion r in the string t, substitute  the  string
                                s,  and return the number of substitutions.  If
                                t is  not  supplied,  use  $0.   An  &  in  the
                                replacement text is replaced with the text that
                                was actually matched.  Use \& to get a  literal
                                &.   See Effective AWK Programming for a fuller
                                discussion of the rules for &     s and backslashes
                                in  the  replacement text of sub(), gsub(), and
        index(s, t)             returns the index of the string t in the string
                                s, or 0 if t is not present.
        length([s])             returns  the  length  of  the  string s, or the
                                length of $0 if s is not supplied.
        match(s, r)             returns the position in  s  where  the  regular
                                expression  r occurs, or 0 if r is not present,
                                and sets the values of RSTART and RLENGTH.
        split(s, a [, r])       splits the string s into the  array  a  on  the
                                regular expression r, and returns the number of
                                fields.  If r is omitted, FS is  used  instead.
                                The   array  a  is  cleared  first.   Splitting
                                behaves   identically   to   field   splitting,
                                described above.
        sprintf(fmt, expr-list) prints  expr-list according to fmt, and returns
                                the resulting string.
        sub(r, s [, t])         just like gsub(), but only the  first  matching
                                substring is replaced.
        substr(s, i [, n])      returns  the at most n-character substring of s
                                starting at i.  If n is omitted, the rest of  s
                                is used.
        tolower(str)            returns  a copy of the string str, with all the
                                upper-case  characters  in  str  translated  to
                                their  corresponding  lower-case  counterparts.
                                Non-alphabetic characters are left unchanged.
        toupper(str)            returns a copy of the string str, with all  the
                                lower-case  characters  in  str  translated  to
                                their  corresponding  upper-case  counterparts.
                                Non-alphabetic characters are left unchanged.
    Time Functions
        Since  one  of the primary uses of AWK programs is processing log files
        that contain time stamp information, gawk provides  the  following  two
        functions for obtaining time stamps and formatting them.
        systime() returns  the  current  time  of  day as the number of seconds
                  since the Epoch (Midnight UTC, January 1, 1970 on POSIX  sys‐
        strftime([format [, timestamp]])
                  formats  timestamp  according to the specification in format.
                  The timestamp should be of the same form as returned by  sys     
                  time().   If timestamp is missing, the current time of day is
                  used.  If format is missing, a default format  equivalent  to
                  the  output  of  date(1) will be used.  See the specification
                  for the strftime() function in ANSI C for the format  conver‐
                  sions  that  are guaranteed to be available.  A public-domain
                  version of strftime(3) and a man page for it come with  gawk;
                  if  that version was used to build gawk, then all of the con‐
                  versions described in that man page are available to gawk.
    String Constants
        String constants in AWK are sequences of  characters  enclosed  between
        double quotes (").  Within strings, certain escape sequences are recog‐
        nized, as in C.  These are:
        \\   A literal backslash.
        \a   The “alert” character; usually the ASCII BEL character.
        \b   backspace.
        \f   form-feed.
        \n   newline.
        \r   carriage return.
        \t   horizontal tab.
        \v   vertical tab.
        \xhex digits
             The character represented by the string of hexadecimal digits fol‐
             lowing the \x.  As in ANSI C, all following hexadecimal digits are
             considered part of the escape sequence.  (This feature should tell
             us something about language design by committee.)  E.g., "\x1B" is
             the ASCII ESC (escape) character.
        \ddd The character represented by the 1-, 2-, or  3-digit  sequence  of
             octal digits.  E.g., "\033" is the ASCII ESC (escape) character.
        \c   The literal character c.
        The  escape  sequences may also be used inside constant regular expres‐
        sions (e.g., /[ \t\f\n\r\v]/ matches whitespace characters).
        In compatibility mode, the characters represented by octal and hexadec‐
        imal  escape  sequences  are treated literally when used in regexp con‐
        stants.  Thus, /a\52b/ is equivalent to /a\*b/.


        Functions in AWK are defined as follows:
               function name(parameter list) { statements }
        Functions are executed when they are called from within expressions  in
        either patterns or actions.  Actual parameters supplied in the function
        call are used to instantiate the  formal  parameters  declared  in  the
        function.   Arrays  are passed by reference, other variables are passed
        by value.
        Since functions were not originally part of the AWK language, the  pro‐
        vision for local variables is rather clumsy: They are declared as extra
        parameters in the parameter list.  The convention is to separate  local
        variables  from  real parameters by extra spaces in the parameter list.
        For example:
               function  f(p, q,     a, b)   # a & b are local
               /abc/     { ... ; f(1, 2) ; ... }
        The left parenthesis in a function call is required to immediately fol‐
        low the function name, without any intervening white space.  This is to
        avoid a syntactic ambiguity  with  the  concatenation  operator.   This
        restriction does not apply to the built-in functions listed above.
        Functions  may  call each other and may be recursive.  Function parame‐
        ters used as local variables are initialized to the null string and the
        number zero upon function invocation.
        Use return expr to return a value from a function.  The return value is
        undefined if no value is  provided,  or  if  the  function  returns  by
        “falling off” the end.
        If  --lint  has  been provided, gawk will warn about calls to undefined
        functions at parse time, instead of at run time.  Calling an  undefined
        function at run time is a fatal error.
        The word func may be used in place of function.


        Print and sort the login names of all users:
             BEGIN     { FS = ":" }
                  { print $1 | "sort" }
        Count lines in a file:
                  { nlines++ }
             END  { print nlines }
        Precede each line by its number in the file:
             { print FNR, $0 }
        Concatenate and line number (a variation on a theme):
             { print NR, $0 }
        egrep(1),  getpid(2),  getppid(2),  getpgrp(2),  getuid(2), geteuid(2),
        getgid(2), getegid(2), getgroups(2)
        The AWK Programming Language, Alfred V. Aho, Brian W. Kernighan,  Peter
        J. Weinberger, Addison-Wesley, 1988.  ISBN 0-201-07981-X.
        Effective  AWK Programming, Edition 1.0, published by the Free Software
        Foundation, 1995.
        A primary goal for gawk is compatibility with the  POSIX  standard,  as
        well  as with the latest version of UNIX awk.  To this end, gawk incor‐
        porates the following user visible features which are not described  in
        the  AWK book, but are part of the Bell Labs version of awk, and are in
        the POSIX standard.
        The -v option for assigning variables before program  execution  starts
        is  new.  The book indicates that command line variable assignment hap‐
        pens when awk would otherwise open the argument as  a  file,  which  is
        after  the  BEGIN  block  is executed.  However, in earlier implementa‐
        tions, when such an assignment appeared  before  any  file  names,  the
        assignment  would  happen before the BEGIN block was run.  Applications
        came to depend on this “feature.”  When awk was changed  to  match  its
        documentation,  this  option was added to accommodate applications that
        depended upon the old behavior.  (This feature was agreed upon by  both
        the AT&T and GNU developers.)
        The  -W  option  for implementation specific features is from the POSIX
        When processing arguments, gawk uses the special option “--” to  signal
        the  end  of arguments.  In compatibility mode, it will warn about, but
        otherwise ignore, undefined options.  In normal operation,  such  argu‐
        ments are passed on to the AWK program for it to process.
        The  AWK  book  does not define the return value of srand().  The POSIX
        standard has it return the seed it was using, to allow keeping track of
        random  number  sequences.   Therefore srand() in gawk also returns its
        current seed.
        Other new features are: The use of multiple -f options (from MKS  awk);
        the  ENVIRON array; the \a, and \v escape sequences (done originally in
        gawk and fed back into AT&T’s); the tolower()  and  toupper()  built-in
        functions  (from  AT&T);  and  the  ANSI C conversion specifications in
        printf (done first in AT&T’s version).
        Gawk has a number of extensions to POSIX awk.  They  are  described  in
        this  section.   All  the  extensions described here can be disabled by
        invoking gawk with the --traditional option.
        The following features of gawk are not available in POSIX awk.
               · The \x escape sequence.  (Disabled with --posix.)
               · The fflush() function.  (Disabled with --posix.)
               · The systime(), strftime(), and gensub() functions.
               · The special file names available for I/O redirection  are  not
               · The ARGIND, ERRNO, and RT variables are not special.
               · The  IGNORECASE  variable  and its side-effects are not avail‐
               · The FIELDWIDTHS variable and fixed-width field splitting.
               · The use of RS as a regular expression.
               · The ability to split out individual characters using the  null
                 string  as  the  value  of  FS,  and  as the third argument to
               · No path search is performed for files named via the -f option.
                 Therefore the AWKPATH environment variable is not special.
               · The use of nextfile to abandon processing of the current input
               · The use of delete array to delete the entire  contents  of  an
        The  AWK book does not define the return value of the close() function.
        Gawk’s close() returns the value from  fclose(3),  or  pclose(3),  when
        closing a file or pipe, respectively.
        When  gawk is invoked with the --traditional option, if the fs argument
        to the -F option is “t”, then FS will be  set  to  the  tab  character.
        Note  that  typing  gawk -F\t ...  simply causes the shell to quote the
        “t,”, and does not pass “\t” to the -F option.  Since this is a  rather
        ugly  special case, it is not the default behavior.  This behavior also
        does not occur if --posix has been specified.   To  really  get  a  tab
        character as the field separator, it is best to use quotes: gawk -F     \t     
        There are two features of historical AWK implementations that gawk sup‐
        ports.   First,  it  is possible to call the length() built-in function
        not only with no argument, but even without parentheses!  Thus,
               a = length     # Holy Algol 60, Batman!
        is the same as either of
               a = length()
               a = length($0)
        This feature is marked as “deprecated” in the POSIX standard, and  gawk
        will  issue  a warning about its use if --lint is specified on the com‐
        mand line.
        The other feature is the use of either the continue or the break state‐
        ments  outside  the  body of a while, for, or do loop.  Traditional AWK
        implementations have treated such  usage  as  equivalent  to  the  next
        statement.   Gawk  will  support  this  usage if --traditional has been
        If POSIXLY_CORRECT exists in the environment, then gawk behaves exactly
        as  if  --posix  had been specified on the command line.  If --lint has
        been specified, gawk will issue a warning message to this effect.
        The AWKPATH environment variable can be  used  to  provide  a  list  of
        directories  that gawk will search when looking for files named via the
        -f and --file options.


        The -F option is not necessary given the command line variable  assign‐
        ment feature; it remains only for backwards compatibility.
        If  your  system  actually  has  support for /dev/fd and the associated
        /dev/stdin, /dev/stdout, and /dev/stderr files, you may  get  different
        output  from  gawk  than you would get on a system without those files.
        When gawk interprets these files internally, it synchronizes output  to
        the  standard output with output to /dev/stdout, while on a system with
        those files, the output is actually to different  open  files.   Caveat
        Syntactically  invalid  single  character programs tend to overflow the
        parse stack, generating a rather unhelpful message.  Such programs  are
        surprisingly  difficult to diagnose in the completely general case, and
        the effort to do so really is not worth it.
        This man page documents gawk, version 3.0.6.


        The original version of UNIX awk was designed and implemented by Alfred
        Aho,  Peter  Weinberger,  and Brian Kernighan of AT&T Bell Labs.  Brian
        Kernighan continues to maintain and enhance it.
        Paul Rubin and Jay Fenlason, of the  Free  Software  Foundation,  wrote
        gawk,  to be compatible with the original version of awk distributed in
        Seventh Edition UNIX.  John Woods contributed a number  of  bug  fixes.
        David  Trueman,  with contributions from Arnold Robbins, made gawk com‐
        patible with the new version of UNIX awk.  Arnold Robbins is  the  cur‐
        rent maintainer.
        The  initial  DOS  port  was  done  by Conrad Kwok and Scott Garfinkle.
        Scott Deifik is the current DOS maintainer.  Pat Rankin did the port to
        VMS,  and  Michal Jaegermann did the port to the Atari ST.  The port to
        OS/2 was done by Kai Uwe Rommel, with contributions and help from  Dar‐
        rel Hankerson.  Fred Fish supplied support for the Amiga.
        If  you  find  a  bug  in  gawk,  please  send  electronic mail to bug-  Please include your operating system and  its  revision,
        the version of gawk, what C compiler you used to compile it, and a test
        program and data that are as small  as  possible  for  reproducing  the
        Before  sending a bug report, please do two things.  First, verify that
        you have the latest version of gawk.  Many bugs (usually  subtle  ones)
        are fixed at each release, and if yours is out of date, the problem may
        already have been solved.  Second, please read this man  page  and  the
        reference  manual  carefully  to  be  sure that what you think is a bug
        really is, instead of just a quirk in the language.
        Whatever you do, do NOT post a bug report in comp.lang.awk.  While  the
        gawk  developers  occasionally read this newsgroup, posting bug reports
        there is an unreliable way to report bugs.   Instead,  please  use  the
        electronic mail addresses given above.


        Brian  Kernighan of Bell Labs provided valuable assistance during test‐
        ing and debugging.  We thank him.
        Copyright © 1996-2000 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
        Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim  copies  of  this
        manual  page  provided  the copyright notice and this permission notice
        are preserved on all copies.
        Permission is granted to copy and distribute modified versions of  this
        manual  page  under  the conditions for verbatim copying, provided that
        the entire resulting derived work is distributed under the terms  of  a
        permission notice identical to this one.
        Permission  is granted to copy and distribute translations of this man‐
        ual page into another language, under the above conditions for modified
        versions,  except that this permission notice may be stated in a trans‐
        lation approved by the Foundation.


Based on BSD UNIX
FreeBSD is an advanced operating system for x86 compatible (including Pentium and Athlon), amd64 compatible (including Opteron, Athlon64, and EM64T), UltraSPARC, IA-64, PC-98 and ARM architectures. It is derived from BSD, the version of UNIX developed at the University of California, Berkeley. It is developed and maintained by a large team of individuals. Additional platforms are in various stages of development.