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Fedora® Linux® TOOLBOX: 1000+ Commands for Fedora, CentOS, and Red Hat® Power Users by Christopher Negus, François Caen

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Chapter 5. Manipulating Text

IN THIS CHAPTER

  • Matching text with regular expressions

  • Editing text files with vi, JOE, or nano

  • Using graphical text editors

  • Listing text with cat, head, and tail

  • Paging text with less and more

  • Paginating text with pr

  • Searching for text with grep

  • Counting words, lines, and characters with wc

  • Sorting output with sort

  • Stream editing with sed, tr, cut, and awk

  • Searching binaries for text with strings

  • Finding differences in files with diff

  • Converting text files with unix2dos/dos2unix

With only a shell available on the first UNIX systems (on which Linux was based), using those systems meant dealing primarily with commands and plain text files. Documents, program code, configuration files, e-mail, and almost anything you created or configured was represented by text files. To work with those files, early developers created many text manipulation tools.

Despite having graphical tools for working with text, most seasoned Linux users find command line tools to be more efficient and convenient. Text editors such as vi (Vim), Emacs, JOE, nano, and Pico are available with most Linux distributions. Commands such as grep, sed, and awk can be used to find, and possibly change, pieces of information within text files.

This chapter shows how to use many popular commands for working with text files in Fedora. It also explores some of the less common uses of text manipulation commands that you might find interesting.

Matching Text with Regular Expressions

Many of the tools for working with ...

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