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"To boldly go where no man has gone before" is a Registered Trademark of Paramount Pictures Corporation.

Copyright (C) 1989, 1991, 92, 93, 96, 97 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

This is Edition 1.0.3 of Effective AWK Programming,
for the 3.0.3 (or later) version of the GNU implementation of AWK.

Published jointly by:

  • Specialized Systems Consultants, Inc. (SSC) @tab Free Software Foundation
  • PO Box 55549 @tab 59 Temple Place -- Suite 330
  • Seattle, WA 98155 USA @tab Boston, MA 02111-1307 USA
  • Phone: +1-206-782-7733 @tab Phone: +1-617-542-5942
  • Fax: +1-206-782-7191 @tab Fax: +1-617-542-2652
  • E-mail: [email protected] @tab E-mail: [email protected]
  • URL: http://www.ssc.com/ @tab URL: http://www.fsf.org/

    ISBN 1-57831-000-8
    Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this manual 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 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 manual into another language, under the above conditions for modified versions, except that this permission notice may be stated in a translation approved by the Foundation.

    Cover art by Amy Wells Wood.

    To Miriam, for making me complete.

    To Chana, for the joy you bring us.

    To Rivka, for the exponential increase.

    To Nachum, for the added dimension.


    This book teaches you about the awk language and how you can use it effectively. You should already be familiar with basic system commands, such as cat and ls,(1) and basic shell facilities, such as Input/Output (I/O) redirection and pipes.

    Implementations of the awk language are available for many different computing environments. This book, while describing the awk language in general, also describes a particular implementation of awk called gawk (which stands for "GNU Awk"). gawk runs on a broad range of Unix systems, ranging from 80386 PC-based computers, up through large scale systems, such as Crays. gawk has also been ported to MS-DOS and OS/2 PC's, Atari and Amiga micro-computers, and VMS.

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