The basics of regular expressions

A sequence of characters that have certain patterns of text (with meta-characters) that are searched for in a larger text file are called regular expressions:

    $ ll /proc | grep cpuinfo
  

In the preceding command, the grep utility will search for the cpuinfo text in all lines of input text and will print lines that have the cpuinfo text.

Utilities such as grep, sed, and awk use regular expressions for filtering text and then apply various processing commands as required by the user. The lines that do not match the pattern will be rejected. The following diagram explains the same concept:

In Chapter 3, Using ...

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