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Sed Cheatsheet

Sed Cheat Sheet

Sed command line options

sed [options] sed-command [input-file]
Option Description Example
-n Suppress default pattern space printing sed -n '3 p' config.conf
-i Backup and modify input file directly sed -ibak 's/On/Off/' php.ini
-f Execute sed script file sed -f script.sed config.conf
-e Execute multiple sed commands sed -e 'command1' -e 'command2' input-file

Sed commands

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

Sed substitute command and flags

 sed 's/original-string/replacement-string/[flags]' [input-file]
Flag Description Example
g Global substitution sed 's/development/production/g' .env
1,2... Substitute the nth occurrence sed 's/latin1/utf8/2' locale.sql
p Print only the substituted line sed -n 's/error_log = 0/error_log = 1/p' php.ini
w Write only the substituted line to a file sed -n 's/One/Two/w output.txt' words.txt
i Ignore case while searching sed 's/true/FALSE/i' config.php
e Substitute and execute in the command line sed 's/^/ls -l /e' files.list
`/ ^ @ !` Substitution delimiter can be any character
& Gets the matched pattern sed 's/^.*/<&>/' index.xml
( ) \1 \2 \3 Group using ( and ).
Use \1, \2 in replacement to refer the group
sed 's/([^,]*),([^,]*),([^,]*).*/\1,\3/g' words.txt

Read more about escaping:

Loops and multi-line sed commands

Command Description Example
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 `sed = file.txt
P Print 1st line in multi-line
D Delete 1st line in multi-line

Sed hold and pattern 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
@rainer-wolf

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commented Nov 23, 2017

I guess in the example for flag 'execute' the 'e' is missing.
sed 's/^/ls -l /' files.list
should be
sed 's/^/ls -l /e' files.list

@sergeyklay

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commented Jul 5, 2019

Thank you. Fixed

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