Awk – Part 1 – Printing the 5th word in a line of text to std output


To kick off ‘Project Bash’ located here I’m going to be talking about Awk. Awk is a text processing tool that can be used to manipulate text in a line in bash. There are many uses of awk so I have called this one Part 1. In Part 1 we are going to use awk to select a word in a line of text, this can be very useful if we want a specific value in a line of text like the 5th word and want to iterate that through each line in a file. Take the following example:

So we have just used Nmap to ping sweep a subnet and want to create a target IP list from the results, we send the output to a file called alive.txt. check out the below:

Awk Part 1

If we break the command down:

cat alive.txt | grep "report" | awk '{print $5}'

The first command ‘Cat alive.txt’ prints out the contents of the file alive.txt to std output (ie into bash). We then pipe the out to a second command. We then use the command ‘grep “report”‘ to find all lines with the word ‘report’ in:

Nmap scan report for

Then finally using ‘awk ‘{print $5}’ to print the 5th word in the line using the variable $5.

Changing the variable in the awk command to ‘$2’ prints the 2nd word in the line:

As you will probably agree this is powerful tool, especially when you need to clean up some out. There are multiple ways we can do the above this is just one of them. Ace!

Sed – Part 2 – Using Sed To remove text from a line in linux

How do we remove specific text from each line in a text file in Linux? In this post we cover using Sed to remove text from a line in Linux.

Sed to remove text from a line in linuxWe previously covered in this post adding text to a line in Linux. In this post we will be specifically talking about the opposite. Using Sed to remove text from a line in linux is fairly straight forward. To remove specific characters or portion of text from a line in Linux we can use command line bash tool sed. The tool sed is used to perform basic text transformations, more info on sed can be found here. In the below example we want to specifically remove ‘BARRY\’ from a line everything within the square brackets [text to remove] is removed, so we use:

sed 's/[BARRY\]//g'


cat users | grep BARRY | cut -d" " -f 2 | sed 's/[BARRY\]//g'

Hopefully you will find this useful!