How To Awk Command In Linux

Among Linux’s most powerful utilities is the AWK command, a potent tool for data manipulation. When you master AWK, you can easily handle tasks like data extraction, reporting, and text conversion with ease. This guide will help you understand how to use the AWK command in Linux effectively.

Understanding AWK

AWK is a scripting language used for manipulating data and generating reports. The AWK command processes and analyzes text files line by line and field by field. It excels at handling structured data, making it an ideal tool for data extraction and reporting tasks.

Basic Syntax of AWK

awk '/search_pattern/ { action }' /path/to/file

In the basic syntax above, the search_pattern is what you’re looking for in the file. The action is what you want to do when the pattern is found. If no action is specified, the AWK command will print the entire line that matches the pattern.

Practical AWK Examples

Example 1: Print all lines that match a pattern

awk '/pattern/' file

This command will print out all lines in the file that contain the specified pattern.

Example 2: Print certain fields from a file

awk '{print $1, $3}' file

This command will print the first and third field from each line in the file. Fields are separated by spaces by default in AWK, but this can be changed using the -F option.


While this guide covers only the basics of the AWK command in Linux, it’s a powerful tool with many more advanced features. With practice and further exploration, you can use AWK to handle complex text processing tasks with ease. Happy scripting!