Today I Learned

A Hashrocket project

Delete lines from file with sed

Imagine the following file:

sed.test

hised
hellosed
goodbyesed

If you want to delete a line matching a regular expression (e.g. hellosed), you can use d at the end of your regular expression.

sed '/hellosed/d' sed.test

Output:

hised
goodbyesed

However the file did not change:

cat sed.test

hised
hellosed
goodbyesed

To write the file in place use the -i [suffix] option. This argument allows you to specify the suffix of the backup file to be saved before committing your changes. For example:

sed -i '.bak' '/hellosed/d' sed.test

Now the file will be modified with our changes but we will also get a backup of the original file in sed.test.bak.

If you like living on the edge 🛩, and don’t want those pesky backup files littering your system, you can supply -i with an empty suffix, causing no backup file to be saved.

sed -i '' '/hellosed/d' sed.test