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Sed and Awk: Pocket Reference, 2nd Edition Paperback – June 19, 2002

3.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Arnold Robbins, an Atlanta native, is a professional programmer and technical author. He has worked with Unix systems since 1980, when he was introduced to a PDP-11 running a version of Sixth Edition Unix. He has been a heavy AWK user since 1987, when he became involved with gawk, the GNU project's version of AWK. As a member of the POSIX 1003.2 balloting group, he helped shape the POSIX standard for AWK. He is currently the maintainer of gawk and its documentation. He is also coauthor of the sixth edition of O'Reilly's Learning the vi Editor. Since late 1997, he and his family have been living happily in Israel.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 52 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2nd edition (2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596003528
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596003524
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #395,333 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This little book is great. I've only had it for about a week. I needed to match some text today with a pattern that was a little bit more involved than my usual simple needs. I flipped through a few pages and found some examples that quickly helped me derive the search pattern I needed in a few minutes.
I have the full "sed & awk" second edition book, but I went to the pocket reference instead. I would not have been able to find what I needed in the larger book as quickly.
Some have complained about some of the pocket references lacking indexes. This one doesn't have one, but it's so easy to use that it doesn't need one. Just flip and few pages and you'll find what you need. As far as I'm concerned time is money. This little book has paid for itself in one weeks use.
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Format: Paperback
Sed and awk are the mainstay for those of you who write shell scripts on unix/linux machines that manipulate text files. It is difficult to overstate the usefulness of these two programs.
So O'Reilly and Robbins decided to help you by providing this pocketbook reference that encapsulates the online help for the programs. The book is aimed at someone who programs, but still prefers a traditional hardcopy reference as an aid to human memory. It assumes that you basically already know how to use the programs, but just need some reminder as to the exact syntax and all the possible options.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Normally, I ask Google for instructions in how to use the sed and awk commands. However, I once found myself without internet and I lost a whole day trying to figure out the right syntax of sed. With this book in my backpak this will never happen again.

If you need a complete description of the commands, with examples and explanations, please consider buying the "non pocket" version, since this is only a fast reference, much like having a "man sed" in your pocket (it really is *tiny*).
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This book is perfect to slip into your back pocket, cheap enough to loan out and not get it back and light enough to take it everywhere you go to work with no internet. There is always something I realize I can do with awk and sed when looking at this book, and is always next to my desk.
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This is a nifty little reference book that I'm using now that I've brew installed like the real versions of these commands. I know there's a man page and what have you, but my eyes feel like they're going to bleed after a long day... it's nice to save them hell, and actually dog ear/underline the useful bits for things I use a bunch.

Besides, it's not a bad idea to indicate to the people around you that you grok the command line or are at least trying to learn. If older folks run the shop, you get street cred or a pat on the head. If younger folks do... they might ask you over to their desk to help with a personal program they'd never be able to hack together, despite being like python ninjas or whatever.
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Awk though is a command that most Linux admins overlook, misuse, or just use poorly. This pocket reference may not do a lot to change that, but it will help when you when you can't remember exactly what a switch or option does. And while much of what is in this book can be found online too, sometimes it is still easier to just pick up a book than try to find that one bookmark or google for the right term. It's adequate for this purpose, however, I wish I would have just gone right to buying "Effective Awk Programming" by O'Reilly, which I did a few weeks later, because I really was wanting something more in depth.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While Google and manpages are great, there's no replacement for reference guides like these and the aforementioned are not exactly "readily available" when you're sitting in a datacenter with a downed non-virtual server. If you are a Linux/FreeBSD/AIX/MacOSX Admin and want an edge on really making life easier for yourself, then you need to be able to have a good series of references to do such. You cannot know everything after all and every little bit of code snippet or reference set helps tremendously.

Sed & Awk Pocket Reference is just one of those necessities that one should have for such a job as it really will help you become proficient and may even help you get out of a situation a bit faster. I have gone through 2 of these references personally and use it for everything from troubleshooting to automated cronjobs. My only complaint with this 2nd Edition is that it doesn't have as many examples as I'd like, requiring one to fiddle around with switch & option syntax a few times to get right. Otherwise, it's a gem in doing my job. Get it!
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Pretty much just a paraphrasing of the man pages, no arcane knowledge or dark secrets, just useful information. This book is thinner than some childrens books.
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