GAWK(1)                        Utility Commands                        GAWK(1)

       gawk - pattern scanning and processing language

       gawk [ POSIX or GNU style options ] -f program-file [ -- ] file ...
       gawk [ POSIX or GNU style options ] [ -- ] program-text file ...

       pgawk [ POSIX or GNU style options ] -f program-file [ -- ] file ...
       pgawk [ POSIX or GNU style options ] [ -- ] program-text file ...

       Gawk is the GNU Project's implementation of the AWK programming
       language.  It conforms to the definition of the language in the POSIX
       1003.1 Standard.  This version in turn is based on the description in
       The AWK Programming Language, by Aho, Kernighan, and Weinberger, with
       the additional features found in the System V Release 4 version of UNIX
       awk.  Gawk also provides more recent Bell Laboratories awk extensions,
       and a number of GNU-specific extensions.

       Pgawk is the profiling version of gawk.  It is identical in every way
       to gawk, except that programs run more slowly, and it automatically
       produces an execution profile in the file awkprof.out when done.  See
       the --profile option, below.

       The command line consists of options to gawk itself, the AWK program
       text (if not supplied via the -f or --file options), and values to be
       made available in the ARGC and ARGV pre-defined AWK variables.

       Gawk options may be either traditional POSIX one letter options, or
       GNU-style long options.  POSIX options start with a single “-”, while
       long options start with “--”.  Long options are provided for both GNU-
       specific features and for POSIX-mandated features.

       Following the POSIX standard, gawk-specific options are supplied via
       arguments to the -W option.  Multiple -W options may be supplied Each
       -W option has a corresponding long option, as detailed below.
       Arguments to long options are either joined with the option by an =
       sign, with no intervening spaces, or they may be provided in the next
       command line argument.  Long options may be abbreviated, as long as the
       abbreviation remains unique.

       Gawk accepts the following options, listed by frequency.

       -F fs
       --field-separator fs
              Use fs for the input field separator (the value of the FS
              predefined variable).

       -v var=val
       --assign var=val
              Assign the value val to the variable var, before execution of
              the program begins.  Such variable values are available to the
              BEGIN block of an AWK program.

       -f program-file
       --file program-file
              Read the AWK program source from the file program-file, instead
              of from the first command line argument.  Multiple -f (or
              --file) options may be used.

       -mf NNN
       -mr NNN
              Set various memory limits to the value NNN.  The f flag sets the
              maximum number of fields, and the r flag sets the maximum record
              size.  These two flags and the -m option are from an earlier
              version of the Bell Laboratories research version of UNIX awk.
              They are ignored by gawk, since gawk has no pre-defined limits.
              (Current versions of the Bell Laboratories awk no longer accept

              Enable optimizations upon the internal representation of the
              program.  Currently, this includes just simple constant-folding.
              The gawk maintainer hopes to add additional optimizations over

       -W compat
       -W traditional
              Run in compatibility mode.  In compatibility mode, gawk behaves
              identically to UNIX awk; none of the GNU-specific extensions are
              recognized.  The use of --traditional is preferred over the
              other forms of this option.  See GNU EXTENSIONS, below, for more

       -W copyleft
       -W copyright
              Print the short version of the GNU copyright information message
              on the standard output and exit successfully.

       -W dump-variables[=file]
              Print a sorted list of global variables, their types and final
              values to file.  If no file is provided, gawk uses a file named
              awkvars.out in the current directory.
              Having a list of all the global variables is a good way to look
              for typographical errors in your programs.  You would also use
              this option if you have a large program with a lot of functions,
              and you want to be sure that your functions don't inadvertently
              use global variables that you meant to be local.  (This is a
              particularly easy mistake to make with simple variable names
              like i, j, and so on.)

       -W exec file
       --exec file
              Similar to -f, however, this is option is the last one
              processed.  This should be used with #!  scripts, particularly
              for CGI applications, to avoid passing in options or source code
              (!) on the command line from a URL.  This option disables
              command-line variable assignments.

       -W gen-po
              Scan and parse the AWK program, and generate a GNU .po format
              file on standard output with entries for all localizable strings
              in the program.  The program itself is not executed.  See the
              GNU gettext distribution for more information on .po files.

       -W help
       -W usage
              Print a relatively short summary of the available options on the
              standard output.  (Per the GNU Coding Standards, these options
              cause an immediate, successful exit.)

       -W lint[=value]
              Provide warnings about constructs that are dubious or non-
              portable to other AWK implementations.  With an optional
              argument of fatal, lint warnings become fatal errors.  This may
              be drastic, but its use will certainly encourage the development
              of cleaner AWK programs.  With an optional argument of invalid,
              only warnings about things that are actually invalid are issued.
              (This is not fully implemented yet.)

       -W lint-old
              Provide warnings about constructs that are not portable to the
              original version of Unix awk.

       -W non-decimal-data
              Recognize octal and hexadecimal values in input data.  Use this
              option with great caution!

       -W posix
              This turns on compatibility mode, with the following additional

              · \x escape sequences are not recognized.

              · Only space and tab act as field separators when FS is set to a
                single space, newline does not.

              · You cannot continue lines after ?  and :.

              · The synonym func for the keyword function is not recognized.

              · The operators ** and **= cannot be used in place of ^ and ^=.

              · The fflush() function is not available.

       -W profile[=prof_file]
              Send profiling data to prof_file.  The default is awkprof.out.
              When run with gawk, the profile is just a “pretty printed”
              version of the program.  When run with pgawk, the profile
              contains execution counts of each statement in the program in
              the left margin and function call counts for each user-defined

       -W re-interval
              Enable the use of interval expressions in regular expression
              matching (see Regular Expressions, below).  Interval expressions
              were not traditionally available in the AWK language.  The POSIX
              standard added them, to make awk and egrep consistent with each
              other.  However, their use is likely to break old AWK programs,
              so gawk only provides them if they are requested with this
              option, or when --posix is specified.

       -W source program-text
       --source program-text
              Use program-text as AWK program source code.  This option allows
              the easy intermixing of library functions (used via the -f and
              --file options) with source code entered on the command line.
              It is intended primarily for medium to large AWK programs used
              in shell scripts.

       -W use-lc-numeric
              This forces gawk to use the locale's decimal point character
              when parsing input data.  Although the POSIX standard requires
              this behavior, and gawk does so when --posix is in effect, the
              default is to follow traditional behavior and use a period as
              the decimal point, even in locales where the period is not the
              decimal point character.  This option overrides the default
              behavior, without the full draconian strictness of the --posix

       -W version
              Print version information for this particular copy of gawk on
              the standard output.  This is useful mainly for knowing if the
              current copy of gawk on your system is up to date with respect
              to whatever the Free Software Foundation is distributing.  This
              is also useful when reporting bugs.  (Per the GNU Coding
              Standards, these options cause an immediate, successful exit.)

       --     Signal the end of options. This is useful to allow further
              arguments to the AWK program itself to start with a “-”.  This
              provides consistency with the argument parsing convention used
              by most other POSIX programs.

       In compatibility mode, any other options are flagged as invalid, but
       are otherwise ignored.  In normal operation, as long as program text
       has been supplied, unknown options are passed on to the AWK program in
       the ARGV array for processing.  This is particularly useful for running
       AWK programs via the “#!” executable interpreter mechanism.

       An AWK program consists of a sequence of pattern-action statements and
       optional function definitions.

              pattern   { action statements }
              function name(parameter list) { statements }

       Gawk first reads the program source from the program-file(s) if
       specified, from arguments to --source, or from the first non-option
       argument on the command line.  The -f and --source options may be used
       multiple times on the command line.  Gawk reads the program text as if
       all the program-files and command line source texts had been
       concatenated together.  This is useful for building libraries of AWK
       functions, without having to include them in each new AWK program that
       uses them.  It also provides the ability to mix library functions with
       command line programs.

       The environment variable AWKPATH specifies a search path to use when
       finding source files named with the -f option.  If this variable does
       not exist, the default path is ".:/usr/local/share/awk".  (The actual
       directory may vary, depending upon how gawk was built and installed.)
       If a file name given to the -f option contains a “/” character, no path
       search is performed.

       Gawk executes AWK programs in the following order.  First, all variable
       assignments specified via the -v option are performed.  Next, gawk
       compiles the program into an internal form.  Then, gawk executes the
       code in the BEGIN block(s) (if any), and then proceeds to read each
       file named in the ARGV array.  If there are no files named on the
       command line, gawk reads the standard input.

       If a filename on the command line has the form var=val it is treated as
       a variable assignment.  The variable var will be assigned the value
       val.  (This happens after any BEGIN block(s) have been run.)  Command
       line variable assignment is most useful for dynamically assigning
       values to the variables AWK uses to control how input is broken into
       fields and records.  It is also useful for controlling state if
       multiple passes are needed over a single data file.

       If the value of a particular element of ARGV is empty (""), gawk skips
       over it.

       For each record in the input, gawk tests to see if it matches any
       pattern in the AWK program.  For each pattern that the record matches,
       the associated action is executed.  The patterns are tested in the
       order they occur in the program.

       Finally, after all the input is exhausted, gawk executes the code in
       the END block(s) (if any).

       AWK variables are dynamic; they come into existence when they are first
       used.  Their values are either floating-point numbers or strings, or
       both, depending upon how they are used.  AWK also has one dimensional
       arrays; arrays with multiple dimensions may be simulated.  Several pre-
       defined variables are set as a program runs; these are described as
       needed and summarized below.

       Normally, records are separated by newline characters.  You can control
       how records are separated by assigning values to the built-in variable
       RS.  If RS is any single character, that character separates records.
       Otherwise, RS is a regular expression.  Text in the input that matches
       this regular expression separates the record.  However, in
       compatibility mode, only the first character of its string value is
       used for separating records.  If RS is set to the null string, then
       records are separated by blank lines.  When RS is set to the null
       string, the newline character always acts as a field separator, in
       addition to whatever value FS may have.

       As each input record is read, gawk splits the record into fields, using
       the value of the FS variable as the field separator.  If FS is a single
       character, fields are separated by that character.  If FS is the null
       string, then each individual character becomes a separate field.
       Otherwise, FS is expected to be a full regular expression.  In the
       special case that FS is a single space, fields are separated by runs of
       spaces and/or tabs and/or newlines.  (But see the section POSIX
       COMPATIBILITY, below).  NOTE: The value of IGNORECASE (see below) also
       affects how fields are split when FS is a regular expression, and how
       records are separated when RS is a regular expression.

       If the FIELDWIDTHS variable is set to a space separated list of
       numbers, each field is expected to have fixed width, and gawk splits up
       the record using the specified widths.  The value of FS is ignored.
       Assigning a new value to FS overrides the use of FIELDWIDTHS, and
       restores the default behavior.

       Each field in the input record may be referenced by its position, $1,
       $2, and so on.  $0 is the whole record.  Fields need not be referenced
       by constants:

              n = 5
              print $n

       prints the fifth field in the input record.

       The variable NF is set to the total number of fields in the input

       References to non-existent fields (i.e. fields after $NF) produce the
       null-string.  However, assigning to a non-existent field (e.g., $(NF+2)
       = 5) increases the value of NF, creates any intervening fields with the
       null string as their value, and causes the value of $0 to be
       recomputed, with the fields being separated by the value of OFS.
       References to negative numbered fields cause a fatal error.
       Decrementing NF causes the values of fields past the new value to be
       lost, and the value of $0 to be recomputed, with the fields being
       separated by the value of OFS.

       Assigning a value to an existing field causes the whole record to be
       rebuilt when $0 is referenced.  Similarly, assigning a value to $0
       causes the record to be resplit, creating new values for the fields.

   Built-in Variables
       Gawk's built-in variables are:

       ARGC        The number of command line arguments (does not include
                   options to gawk, or the program source).

       ARGIND      The index in ARGV of the current file being processed.

       ARGV        Array of command line arguments.  The array is indexed from
                   0 to ARGC - 1.  Dynamically changing the contents of ARGV
                   can control the files used for data.

       BINMODE     On non-POSIX systems, specifies use of “binary” mode for
                   all file I/O.  Numeric values of 1, 2, or 3, specify that
                   input files, output files, or all files, respectively,
                   should use binary I/O.  String values of "r", or "w"
                   specify that input files, or output files, respectively,
                   should use binary I/O.  String values of "rw" or "wr"
                   specify that all files should use binary I/O.  Any other
                   string value is treated as "rw", but generates a warning

       CONVFMT     The conversion format for numbers, "%.6g", by default.

       ENVIRON     An array containing the values of the current environment.
                   The array is indexed by the environment variables, each
                   element being the value of that variable (e.g.,
                   ENVIRON["HOME"] might be /home/arnold).  Changing this
                   array does not affect the environment seen by programs
                   which gawk spawns via redirection or the system() function.

       ERRNO       If a system error occurs either doing a redirection for
                   getline, during a read for getline, or during a close(),
                   then ERRNO will contain a string describing the error.  The
                   value is subject to translation in non-English locales.

       FIELDWIDTHS A white-space separated list of fieldwidths.  When set,
                   gawk parses the input into fields of fixed width, instead
                   of using the value of the FS variable as the field

       FILENAME    The name of the current input file.  If no files are
                   specified on the command line, the value of FILENAME is
                   “-”.  However, FILENAME is undefined inside the BEGIN block
                   (unless set by getline).

       FNR         The input record number in the current input file.

       FS          The input field separator, a space by default.  See Fields,

       IGNORECASE  Controls the case-sensitivity of all regular expression and
                   string operations.  If IGNORECASE has a non-zero value,
                   then string comparisons and pattern matching in rules,
                   field splitting with FS, record separating with RS, regular
                   expression matching with ~ and !~, and the gensub(),
                   gsub(), index(), match(), split(), and sub() built-in
                   functions all ignore case when doing regular expression
                   operations.  NOTE: Array subscripting is not affected.
                   However, the asort() and asorti() functions are affected.
                   Thus, if IGNORECASE is not equal to zero, /aB/ matches all
                   of the strings "ab", "aB", "Ab", and "AB".  As with all AWK
                   variables, the initial value of IGNORECASE is zero, so all
                   regular expression and string operations are normally case-
                   sensitive.  Under Unix, the full ISO 8859-1 Latin-1
                   character set is used when ignoring case.  As of gawk
                   3.1.4, the case equivalencies are fully locale-aware, based
                   on the C <ctype.h> facilities such as isalpha(), and

       LINT        Provides dynamic control of the --lint option from within
                   an AWK program.  When true, gawk prints lint warnings. When
                   false, it does not.  When assigned the string value
                   "fatal", lint warnings become fatal errors, exactly like
                   --lint=fatal.  Any other true value just prints warnings.

       NF          The number of fields in the current input record.

       NR          The total number of input records seen so far.

       OFMT        The output format for numbers, "%.6g", by default.

       OFS         The output field separator, a space by default.

       ORS         The output record separator, by default a newline.

       PROCINFO    The elements of this array provide access to information
                   about the running AWK program.  On some systems, there may
                   be elements in the array, "group1" through "groupn" for
                   some n, which is the number of supplementary groups that
                   the process has.  Use the in operator to test for these
                   elements.  The following elements are guaranteed to be

                   PROCINFO["egid"]   the value of the getegid(2) system call.

                   PROCINFO["euid"]   the value of the geteuid(2) system call.

                   PROCINFO["FS"]     "FS" if field splitting with FS is in
                                      effect, or "FIELDWIDTHS" if field
                                      splitting with FIELDWIDTHS is in effect.

                   PROCINFO["gid"]    the value of the getgid(2) system call.

                   PROCINFO["pgrpid"] the process group ID of the current

                   PROCINFO["pid"]    the process ID of the current process.

                   PROCINFO["ppid"]   the parent process ID of the current

                   PROCINFO["uid"]    the value of the getuid(2) system call.

                                      The version of gawk.  This is available
                                      from version 3.1.4 and later.

       RS          The input record separator, by default a newline.

       RT          The record terminator.  Gawk sets RT to the input text that
                   matched the character or regular expression specified by

       RSTART      The index of the first character matched by match(); 0 if
                   no match.  (This implies that character indices start at

       RLENGTH     The length of the string matched by match(); -1 if no

       SUBSEP      The character used to separate multiple subscripts in array
                   elements, by default "\034".

       TEXTDOMAIN  The text domain of the AWK program; used to find the
                   localized translations for the program's strings.

       Arrays are subscripted with an expression between square brackets ([
       and ]).  If the expression is an expression list (expr, expr ...)  then
       the array subscript is a string consisting of the concatenation of the
       (string) value of each expression, separated by the value of the SUBSEP
       variable.  This facility is used to simulate multiply dimensioned
       arrays.  For example:

              i = "A"; j = "B"; k = "C"
              x[i, j, k] = "hello, world\n"

       assigns the string "hello, world\n" to the element of the array x which
       is indexed by the string "A\034B\034C".  All arrays in AWK are
       associative, i.e. indexed by string values.

       The special operator in may be used to test if an array has an index
       consisting of a particular value.

              if (val in array)
                   print array[val]

       If the array has multiple subscripts, use (i, j) in array.

       The in construct may also be used in a for loop to iterate over all the
       elements of an array.

       An element may be deleted from an array using the delete statement.
       The delete statement may also be used to delete the entire contents of
       an array, just by specifying the array name without a subscript.

   Variable Typing And Conversion
       Variables and fields may be (floating point) numbers, or strings, or
       both.  How the value of a variable is interpreted depends upon its
       context.  If used in a numeric expression, it will be treated as a
       number; if used as a string it will be treated as a string.

       To force a variable to be treated as a number, add 0 to it; to force it
       to be treated as a string, concatenate it with the null string.

       When a string must be converted to a number, the conversion is
       accomplished using strtod(3).  A number is converted to a string by
       using the value of CONVFMT as a format string for sprintf(3), with the
       numeric value of the variable as the argument.  However, even though
       all numbers in AWK are floating-point, integral values are always
       converted as integers.  Thus, given

              CONVFMT = "%2.2f"
              a = 12
              b = a ""

       the variable b has a string value of "12" and not "12.00".

       When operating in POSIX mode (such as with the --posix command line
       option), beware that locale settings may interfere with the way decimal
       numbers are treated: the decimal separator of the numbers you are
       feeding to gawk must conform to what your locale would expect, be it a
       comma (,) or a period (.).

       Gawk performs comparisons as follows: If two variables are numeric,
       they are compared numerically.  If one value is numeric and the other
       has a string value that is a “numeric string,” then comparisons are
       also done numerically.  Otherwise, the numeric value is converted to a
       string and a string comparison is performed.  Two strings are compared,
       of course, as strings.

       Note that string constants, such as "57", are not numeric strings, they
       are string constants.  The idea of “numeric string” only applies to
       fields, getline input, FILENAME, ARGV elements, ENVIRON elements and
       the elements of an array created by split() that are numeric strings.
       The basic idea is that user input, and only user input, that looks
       numeric, should be treated that way.

       Uninitialized variables have the numeric value 0 and the string value
       "" (the null, or empty, string).

   Octal and Hexadecimal Constants
       Starting with version 3.1 of gawk , you may use C-style octal and
       hexadecimal constants in your AWK program source code.  For example,
       the octal value 011 is equal to decimal 9, and the hexadecimal value
       0x11 is equal to decimal 17.

   String Constants
       String constants in AWK are sequences of characters enclosed between
       double quotes (").  Within strings, certain escape sequences are
       recognized, as in C.  These are:

       \\   A literal backslash.

       \a   The “alert” character; usually the ASCII BEL character.

       \b   backspace.

       \f   form-feed.

       \n   newline.

       \r   carriage return.

       \t   horizontal tab.

       \v   vertical tab.

       \xhex digits
            The character represented by the string of hexadecimal digits
            following the \x.  As in ANSI C, all following hexadecimal digits
            are considered part of the escape sequence.  (This feature should
            tell us something about language design by committee.)  E.g.,
            "\x1B" is the ASCII ESC (escape) character.

       \ddd The character represented by the 1-, 2-, or 3-digit sequence of
            octal digits.  E.g., "\033" is the ASCII ESC (escape) character.

       \c   The literal character c.

       The escape sequences may also be used inside constant regular
       expressions (e.g., /[ \t\f\n\r\v]/ matches whitespace characters).

       In compatibility mode, the characters represented by octal and
       hexadecimal escape sequences are treated literally when used in regular
       expression constants.  Thus, /a\52b/ is equivalent to /a\*b/.

       AWK is a line-oriented language.  The pattern comes first, and then the
       action.  Action statements are enclosed in { and }.  Either the pattern
       may be missing, or the action may be missing, but, of course, not both.
       If the pattern is missing, the action is executed for every single
       record of input.  A missing action is equivalent to

              { print }

       which prints the entire record.

       Comments begin with the “#” character, and continue until the end of
       the line.  Blank lines may be used to separate statements.  Normally, a
       statement ends with a newline, however, this is not the case for lines
       ending in a “,”, {, ?, :, &&, or ||.  Lines ending in do or else also
       have their statements automatically continued on the following line.
       In other cases, a line can be continued by ending it with a “\”, in
       which case the newline will be ignored.

       Multiple statements may be put on one line by separating them with a
       “;”.  This applies to both the statements within the action part of a
       pattern-action pair (the usual case), and to the pattern-action
       statements themselves.

       AWK patterns may be one of the following:

              /regular expression/
              relational expression
              pattern && pattern
              pattern || pattern
              pattern ? pattern : pattern
              ! pattern
              pattern1, pattern2

       BEGIN and END are two special kinds of patterns which are not tested
       against the input.  The action parts of all BEGIN patterns are merged
       as if all the statements had been written in a single BEGIN block.
       They are executed before any of the input is read.  Similarly, all the
       END blocks are merged, and executed when all the input is exhausted (or
       when an exit statement is executed).  BEGIN and END patterns cannot be
       combined with other patterns in pattern expressions.  BEGIN and END
       patterns cannot have missing action parts.

       For /regular expression/ patterns, the associated statement is executed
       for each input record that matches the regular expression.  Regular
       expressions are the same as those in egrep(1), and are summarized

       A relational expression may use any of the operators defined below in
       the section on actions.  These generally test whether certain fields
       match certain regular expressions.

       The &&, ||, and !  operators are logical AND, logical OR, and logical
       NOT, respectively, as in C.  They do short-circuit evaluation, also as
       in C, and are used for combining more primitive pattern expressions.
       As in most languages, parentheses may be used to change the order of

       The ?: operator is like the same operator in C.  If the first pattern
       is true then the pattern used for testing is the second pattern,
       otherwise it is the third.  Only one of the second and third patterns
       is evaluated.

       The pattern1, pattern2 form of an expression is called a range pattern.
       It matches all input records starting with a record that matches
       pattern1, and continuing until a record that matches pattern2,
       inclusive.  It does not combine with any other sort of pattern

   Regular Expressions
       Regular expressions are the extended kind found in egrep.  They are
       composed of characters as follows:

       c          matches the non-metacharacter c.

       \c         matches the literal character c.

       .          matches any character including newline.

       ^          matches the beginning of a string.

       $          matches the end of a string.

       [abc...]   character list, matches any of the characters abc....

       [^abc...]  negated character list, matches any character except abc....

       r1|r2      alternation: matches either r1 or r2.

       r1r2       concatenation: matches r1, and then r2.

       r+         matches one or more r's.

       r*         matches zero or more r's.

       r?         matches zero or one r's.

       (r)        grouping: matches r.

       r{n,m}     One or two numbers inside braces denote an interval
                  expression.  If there is one number in the braces, the
                  preceding regular expression r is repeated n times.  If
                  there are two numbers separated by a comma, r is repeated n
                  to m times.  If there is one number followed by a comma,
                  then r is repeated at least n times.
                  Interval expressions are only available if either --posix or
                  --re-interval is specified on the command line.

       \y         matches the empty string at either the beginning or the end
                  of a word.

       \B         matches the empty string within a word.

       \<         matches the empty string at the beginning of a word.

       \>         matches the empty string at the end of a word.

       \w         matches any word-constituent character (letter, digit, or

       \W         matches any character that is not word-constituent.

       \`         matches the empty string at the beginning of a buffer

       \'         matches the empty string at the end of a buffer.

       The escape sequences that are valid in string constants (see below) are
       also valid in regular expressions.

       Character classes are a feature introduced in the POSIX standard.  A
       character class is a special notation for describing lists of
       characters that have a specific attribute, but where the actual
       characters themselves can vary from country to country and/or from
       character set to character set.  For example, the notion of what is an
       alphabetic character differs in the USA and in France.

       A character class is only valid in a regular expression inside the
       brackets of a character list.  Character classes consist of [:, a
       keyword denoting the class, and :].  The character classes defined by
       the POSIX standard are:

       [:alnum:]  Alphanumeric characters.

       [:alpha:]  Alphabetic characters.

       [:blank:]  Space or tab characters.

       [:cntrl:]  Control characters.

       [:digit:]  Numeric characters.

       [:graph:]  Characters that are both printable and visible.  (A space is
                  printable, but not visible, while an a is both.)

       [:lower:]  Lower-case alphabetic characters.

       [:print:]  Printable characters (characters that are not control

       [:punct:]  Punctuation characters (characters that are not letter,
                  digits, control characters, or space characters).

       [:space:]  Space characters (such as space, tab, and formfeed, to name
                  a few).

       [:upper:]  Upper-case alphabetic characters.

       [:xdigit:] Characters that are hexadecimal digits.

       For example, before the POSIX standard, to match alphanumeric
       characters, you would have had to write /[A-Za-z0-9]/.  If your
       character set had other alphabetic characters in it, this would not
       match them, and if your character set collated differently from ASCII,
       this might not even match the ASCII alphanumeric characters.  With the
       POSIX character classes, you can write /[[:alnum:]]/, and this matches
       the alphabetic and numeric characters in your character set, no matter
       what it is.

       Two additional special sequences can appear in character lists.  These
       apply to non-ASCII character sets, which can have single symbols
       (called collating elements) that are represented with more than one
       character, as well as several characters that are equivalent for
       collating, or sorting, purposes.  (E.g., in French, a plain “e” and a
       grave-accented “`” are equivalent.)

       Collating Symbols
              A collating symbol is a multi-character collating element
              enclosed in [.  and .].  For example, if ch is a collating
              element, then [[.ch.]]  is a regular expression that matches
              this collating element, while [ch] is a regular expression that
              matches either c or h.

       Equivalence Classes
              An equivalence class is a locale-specific name for a list of
              characters that are equivalent.  The name is enclosed in [= and
              =].  For example, the name e might be used to represent all of
              “e,” “´,” and “`.”  In this case, [[=e=]] is a regular
              expression that matches any of e, ´, or `.

       These features are very valuable in non-English speaking locales.  The
       library functions that gawk uses for regular expression matching
       currently only recognize POSIX character classes; they do not recognize
       collating symbols or equivalence classes.

       The \y, \B, \<, \>, \w, \W, \`, and \' operators are specific to gawk;
       they are extensions based on facilities in the GNU regular expression

       The various command line options control how gawk interprets characters
       in regular expressions.

       No options
              In the default case, gawk provide all the facilities of POSIX
              regular expressions and the GNU regular expression operators
              described above.  However, interval expressions are not

              Only POSIX regular expressions are supported, the GNU operators
              are not special.  (E.g., \w matches a literal w).  Interval
              expressions are allowed. PLEASE NOTE that the regular expression
              [A-Z] will also match the lowercase characters in this case!
              Consult the info pages of  gawk  utility for more information
              about this behaviour.

              Traditional Unix awk regular expressions are matched.  The GNU
              operators are not special, interval expressions are not
              available, and neither are the POSIX character classes
              ([[:alnum:]] and so on).  Characters described by octal and
              hexadecimal escape sequences are treated literally, even if they
              represent regular expression metacharacters.

              Allow interval expressions in regular expressions, even if
              --traditional has been provided.

       Action statements are enclosed in braces, { and }.  Action statements
       consist of the usual assignment, conditional, and looping statements
       found in most languages.  The operators, control statements, and
       input/output statements available are patterned after those in C.

       The operators in AWK, in order of decreasing precedence, are

       (...)       Grouping

       $           Field reference.

       ++ --       Increment and decrement, both prefix and postfix.

       ^           Exponentiation (** may also be used, and **= for the
                   assignment operator).

       + - !       Unary plus, unary minus, and logical negation.

       * / %       Multiplication, division, and modulus.

       + -         Addition and subtraction.

       space       String concatenation.

       | |&        Piped I/O for getline, print, and printf.

       < >
       <= >=
       != ==       The regular relational operators.

       ~ !~        Regular expression match, negated match.  NOTE: Do not use
                   a constant regular expression (/foo/) on the left-hand side
                   of a ~ or !~.  Only use one on the right-hand side.  The
                   expression /foo/ ~ exp has the same meaning as (($0 ~
                   /foo/) ~ exp).  This is usually not what was intended.

       in          Array membership.

       &&          Logical AND.

       ||          Logical OR.

       ?:          The C conditional expression.  This has the form expr1 ?
                   expr2 : expr3.  If expr1 is true, the value of the
                   expression is expr2, otherwise it is expr3.  Only one of
                   expr2 and expr3 is evaluated.

       = += -=
       *= /= %= ^= Assignment.  Both absolute assignment (var = value) and
                   operator-assignment (the other forms) are supported.

   Control Statements
       The control statements are as follows:

              if (condition) statement [ else statement ]
              while (condition) statement
              do statement while (condition)
              for (expr1; expr2; expr3) statement
              for (var in array) statement
              delete array[index]
              delete array
              exit [ expression ]
              { statements }

   I/O Statements
       The input/output statements are as follows:

       close(file [, how])   Close file, pipe or co-process.  The optional how
                             should only be used when closing one end of a
                             two-way pipe to a co-process.  It must be a
                             string value, either "to" or "from".

       getline               Set $0 from next input record; set NF, NR, FNR.

       getline <file         Set $0 from next record of file; set NF.

       getline var           Set var from next input record; set NR, FNR.

       getline var <file     Set var from next record of file.

       command | getline [var]
                             Run command piping the output either into $0 or
                             var, as above.

       command |& getline [var]
                             Run command as a co-process piping the output
                             either into $0 or var, as above.  Co-processes
                             are a gawk extension.  (command can also be a
                             socket.  See the subsection Special File Names,

       next                  Stop processing the current input record.  The
                             next input record is read and processing starts
                             over with the first pattern in the AWK program.
                             If the end of the input data is reached, the END
                             block(s), if any, are executed.

       nextfile              Stop processing the current input file.  The next
                             input record read comes from the next input file.
                             FILENAME and ARGIND are updated, FNR is reset to
                             1, and processing starts over with the first
                             pattern in the AWK program. If the end of the
                             input data is reached, the END block(s), if any,
                             are executed.

       print                 Prints the current record.  The output record is
                             terminated with the value of the ORS variable.

       print expr-list       Prints expressions.  Each expression is separated
                             by the value of the OFS variable.  The output
                             record is terminated with the value of the ORS

       print expr-list >file Prints expressions on file.  Each expression is
                             separated by the value of the OFS variable.  The
                             output record is terminated with the value of the
                             ORS variable.

       printf fmt, expr-list Format and print.

       printf fmt, expr-list >file
                             Format and print on file.

       system(cmd-line)      Execute the command cmd-line, and return the exit
                             status.  (This may not be available on non-POSIX

       fflush([file])        Flush any buffers associated with the open output
                             file or pipe file.  If file is missing, then
                             standard output is flushed.  If file is the null
                             string, then all open output files and pipes have
                             their buffers flushed.

       Additional output redirections are allowed for print and printf.

       print ... >> file
              Appends output to the file.

       print ... | command
              Writes on a pipe.

       print ... |& command
              Sends data to a co-process or socket.  (See also the subsection
              Special File Names, below.)

       The getline command returns 1 on success, 0 on end of file, and -1 on
       an error.  Upon an error, ERRNO contains a string describing the

       NOTE: If using a pipe, co-process, or socket to getline, or from print
       or printf within a loop, you must use close() to create new instances
       of the command or socket.  AWK does not automatically close pipes,
       sockets, or co-processes when they return EOF.

   The printf Statement
       The AWK versions of the printf statement and sprintf() function (see
       below) accept the following conversion specification formats:

       %c      An ASCII character.  If the argument used for %c is numeric, it
               is treated as a character and printed.  Otherwise, the argument
               is assumed to be a string, and the only first character of that
               string is printed.

       %d, %i  A decimal number (the integer part).

       %e, %E  A floating point number of the form [-]d.dddddde[+-]dd.  The %E
               format uses E instead of e.

       %f, %F  A floating point number of the form [-]ddd.dddddd.  If the
               system library supports it, %F is available as well. This is
               like %f, but uses capital letters for special “not a number”
               and “infinity” values. If %F is not available, gawk uses %f.

       %g, %G  Use %e or %f conversion, whichever is shorter, with
               nonsignificant zeros suppressed.  The %G format uses %E instead
               of %e.

       %o      An unsigned octal number (also an integer).

       %u      An unsigned decimal number (again, an integer).

       %s      A character string.

       %x, %X  An unsigned hexadecimal number (an integer).  The %X format
               uses ABCDEF instead of abcdef.

       %%      A single % character; no argument is converted.

       NOTE: When using the integer format-control letters for values that are
       outside the range of a C long integer, gawk switches to the %0f format
       specifier. If --lint is provided on the command line gawk warns about
       this.  Other versions of awk may print invalid values or do something
       else entirely.

       Optional, additional parameters may lie between the % and the control

       count$ Use the count'th argument at this point in the formatting.  This
              is called a positional specifier and is intended primarily for
              use in translated versions of format strings, not in the
              original text of an AWK program.  It is a gawk extension.

       -      The expression should be left-justified within its field.

       space  For numeric conversions, prefix positive values with a space,
              and negative values with a minus sign.

       +      The plus sign, used before the width modifier (see below), says
              to always supply a sign for numeric conversions, even if the
              data to be formatted is positive.  The + overrides the space

       #      Use an “alternate form” for certain control letters.  For %o,
              supply a leading zero.  For %x, and %X, supply a leading 0x or
              0X for a nonzero result.  For %e, %E, %f and %F, the result
              always contains a decimal point.  For %g, and %G, trailing zeros
              are not removed from the result.

       0      A leading 0 (zero) acts as a flag, that indicates output should
              be padded with zeroes instead of spaces.  This applies even to
              non-numeric output formats.  This flag only has an effect when
              the field width is wider than the value to be printed.

       width  The field should be padded to this width.  The field is normally
              padded with spaces.  If the 0 flag has been used, it is padded
              with zeroes.

       .prec  A number that specifies the precision to use when printing.  For
              the %e, %E, %f and %F, formats, this specifies the number of
              digits you want printed to the right of the decimal point.  For
              the %g, and %G formats, it specifies the maximum number of
              significant digits.  For the %d, %o, %i, %u, %x, and %X formats,
              it specifies the minimum number of digits to print.  For %s, it
              specifies the maximum number of characters from the string that
              should be printed.

       The dynamic width and prec capabilities of the ANSI C printf() routines
       are supported.  A * in place of either the width or prec specifications
       causes their values to be taken from the argument list to printf or
       sprintf().  To use a positional specifier with a dynamic width or
       precision, supply the count$ after the * in the format string.  For
       example, "%3$*2$.*1$s".

   Special File Names
       When doing I/O redirection from either print or printf into a file, or
       via getline from a file, gawk recognizes certain special filenames
       internally.  These filenames allow access to open file descriptors
       inherited from gawk's parent process (usually the shell).  These file
       names may also be used on the command line to name data files.  The
       filenames are:

       /dev/stdin  The standard input.

       /dev/stdout The standard output.

       /dev/stderr The standard error output.

       /dev/fd/n   The file associated with the open file descriptor n.

       These are particularly useful for error messages.  For example:

              print "You blew it!" > "/dev/stderr"

       whereas you would otherwise have to use

              print "You blew it!" | "cat 1>&2"

       The following special filenames may be used with the |& co-process
       operator for creating TCP/IP network connections.

       /inet/tcp/lport/rhost/rport  File for TCP/IP connection on local port
                                    lport to remote host rhost on remote port
                                    rport.  Use a port of 0 to have the system
                                    pick a port.

       /inet/udp/lport/rhost/rport  Similar, but use UDP/IP instead of TCP/IP.

       /inet/raw/lport/rhost/rport  Reserved for future use.

       Other special filenames provide access to information about the running
       gawk process.  These filenames are now obsolete.  Use the PROCINFO
       array to obtain the information they provide.  The filenames are:

       /dev/pid    Reading this file returns the process ID of the current
                   process, in decimal, terminated with a newline.

       /dev/ppid   Reading this file returns the parent process ID of the
                   current process, in decimal, terminated with a newline.

       /dev/pgrpid Reading this file returns the process group ID of the
                   current process, in decimal, terminated with a newline.

       /dev/user   Reading this file returns a single record terminated with a
                   newline.  The fields are separated with spaces.  $1 is the
                   value of the getuid(2) system call, $2 is the value of the
                   geteuid(2) system call, $3 is the value of the getgid(2)
                   system call, and $4 is the value of the getegid(2) system
                   call.  If there are any additional fields, they are the
                   group IDs returned by getgroups(2).  Multiple groups may
                   not be supported on all systems.

   Numeric Functions
       AWK has the following built-in arithmetic functions:

       atan2(y, x)   Returns the arctangent of y/x in radians.

       cos(expr)     Returns the cosine of expr, which is in radians.

       exp(expr)     The exponential function.

       int(expr)     Truncates to integer.

       log(expr)     The natural logarithm function.

       rand()        Returns a random number N, between 0 and 1, such that 0 ≤
                     N < 1.

       sin(expr)     Returns the sine of expr, which is in radians.

       sqrt(expr)    The square root function.

       srand([expr]) Uses expr as a new seed for the random number generator.
                     If no expr is provided, the time of day is used.  The
                     return value is the previous seed for the random number

   String Functions
       Gawk has the following built-in string functions:

       asort(s [, d])          Returns the number of elements in the source
                               array s.  The contents of s are sorted using
                               gawk's normal rules for comparing values, and
                               the indices of the sorted values of s are
                               replaced with sequential integers starting with
                               1. If the optional destination array d is
                               specified, then s is first duplicated into d,
                               and then d is sorted, leaving the indices of
                               the source array s unchanged.

       asorti(s [, d])         Returns the number of elements in the source
                               array s.  The behavior is the same as that of
                               asort(), except that the array indices are used
                               for sorting, not the array values.  When done,
                               the array is indexed numerically, and the
                               values are those of the original indices.  The
                               original values are lost; thus provide a second
                               array if you wish to preserve the original.

       gensub(r, s, h [, t])   Search the target string t for matches of the
                               regular expression r.  If h is a string
                               beginning with g or G, then replace all matches
                               of r with s.  Otherwise, h is a number
                               indicating which match of r to replace.  If t
                               is not supplied, $0 is used instead.  Within
                               the replacement text s, the sequence \n, where
                               n is a digit from 1 to 9, may be used to
                               indicate just the text that matched the n'th
                               parenthesized subexpression.  The sequence \0
                               represents the entire matched text, as does the
                               character &.  Unlike sub() and gsub(), the
                               modified string is returned as the result of
                               the function, and the original target string is
                               not changed.

       gsub(r, s [, t])        For each substring matching the regular
                               expression r in the string t, substitute the
                               string s, and return the number of
                               substitutions.  If t is not supplied, use $0.
                               An & in the replacement text is replaced with
                               the text that was actually matched.  Use \& to
                               get a literal &.  (This must be typed as "\\&";
                               see GAWK: Effective AWK Programming for a
                               fuller discussion of the rules for &'s and
                               backslashes in the replacement text of sub(),
                               gsub(), and gensub().)

       index(s, t)             Returns the index of the string t in the string
                               s, or 0 if t is not present.  (This implies
                               that character indices start at one.)

       length([s])             Returns the length of the string s, or the
                               length of $0 if s is not supplied.  Starting
                               with version 3.1.5, as a non-standard
                               extension, with an array argument, length()
                               returns the number of elements in the array.

       match(s, r [, a])       Returns the position in s where the regular
                               expression r occurs, or 0 if r is not present,
                               and sets the values of RSTART and RLENGTH.
                               Note that the argument order is the same as for
                               the ~ operator: str ~ re.  If array a is
                               provided, a is cleared and then elements 1
                               through n are filled with the portions of s
                               that match the corresponding parenthesized
                               subexpression in r.  The 0'th element of a
                               contains the portion of s matched by the entire
                               regular expression r.  Subscripts a[n,
                               "start"], and a[n, "length"] provide the
                               starting index in the string and length
                               respectively, of each matching substring.

       split(s, a [, r])       Splits the string s into the array a on the
                               regular expression r, and returns the number of
                               fields.  If r is omitted, FS is used instead.
                               The array a is cleared first.  Splitting
                               behaves identically to field splitting,
                               described above.

       sprintf(fmt, expr-list) Prints expr-list according to fmt, and returns
                               the resulting string.

       strtonum(str)           Examines str, and returns its numeric value.
                               If str begins with a leading 0, strtonum()
                               assumes that str is an octal number.  If str
                               begins with a leading 0x or 0X, strtonum()
                               assumes that str is a hexadecimal number.

       sub(r, s [, t])         Just like gsub(), but only the first matching
                               substring is replaced.

       substr(s, i [, n])      Returns the at most n-character substring of s
                               starting at i.  If n is omitted, the rest of s
                               is used.

       tolower(str)            Returns a copy of the string str, with all the
                               upper-case characters in str translated to
                               their corresponding lower-case counterparts.
                               Non-alphabetic characters are left unchanged.

       toupper(str)            Returns a copy of the string str, with all the
                               lower-case characters in str translated to
                               their corresponding upper-case counterparts.
                               Non-alphabetic characters are left unchanged.

       As of version 3.1.5, gawk is multibyte aware.  This means that index(),
       length(), substr() and match() all work in terms of characters, not

   Time Functions
       Since one of the primary uses of AWK programs is processing log files
       that contain time stamp information, gawk provides the following
       functions for obtaining time stamps and formatting them.

                 Turns datespec into a time stamp of the same form as returned
                 by systime().  The datespec is a string of the form YYYY MM
                 DD HH MM SS[ DST].  The contents of the string are six or
                 seven numbers representing respectively the full year
                 including century, the month from 1 to 12, the day of the
                 month from 1 to 31, the hour of the day from 0 to 23, the
                 minute from 0 to 59, and the second from 0 to 60, and an
                 optional daylight saving flag.  The values of these numbers
                 need not be within the ranges specified; for example, an hour
                 of -1 means 1 hour before midnight.  The origin-zero
                 Gregorian calendar is assumed, with year 0 preceding year 1
                 and year -1 preceding year 0.  The time is assumed to be in
                 the local timezone.  If the daylight saving flag is positive,
                 the time is assumed to be daylight saving time; if zero, the
                 time is assumed to be standard time; and if negative (the
                 default), mktime() attempts to determine whether daylight
                 saving time is in effect for the specified time.  If datespec
                 does not contain enough elements or if the resulting time is
                 out of range, mktime() returns -1.

       strftime([format [, timestamp[, utc-flag]]])
                 Formats timestamp according to the specification in format.
                 If utc-flag is present and is non-zero or non-null, the
                 result is in UTC, otherwise the result is in local time.  The
                 timestamp should be of the same form as returned by
                 systime().  If timestamp is missing, the current time of day
                 is used.  If format is missing, a default format equivalent
                 to the output of date(1) is used.  See the specification for
                 the strftime() function in ANSI C for the format conversions
                 that are guaranteed to be available.

       systime() Returns the current time of day as the number of seconds
                 since the Epoch (1970-01-01 00:00:00 UTC on POSIX systems).

   Bit Manipulations Functions
       Starting with version 3.1 of gawk, the following bit manipulation
       functions are available.  They work by converting double-precision
       floating point values to uintmax_t integers, doing the operation, and
       then converting the result back to floating point.  The functions are:

       and(v1, v2)         Return the bitwise AND of the values provided by v1
                           and v2.

       compl(val)          Return the bitwise complement of val.

       lshift(val, count)  Return the value of val, shifted left by count

       or(v1, v2)          Return the bitwise OR of the values provided by v1
                           and v2.

       rshift(val, count)  Return the value of val, shifted right by count

       xor(v1, v2)         Return the bitwise XOR of the values provided by v1
                           and v2.

   Internationalization Functions
       Starting with version 3.1 of gawk, the following functions may be used
       from within your AWK program for translating strings at run-time.  For
       full details, see GAWK: Effective AWK Programming.

       bindtextdomain(directory [, domain])
              Specifies the directory where gawk looks for the .mo files, in
              case they will not or cannot be placed in the ``standard''
              locations (e.g., during testing).  It returns the directory
              where domain is ``bound.''
              The default domain is the value of TEXTDOMAIN.  If directory is
              the null string (""), then bindtextdomain() returns the current
              binding for the given domain.

       dcgettext(string [, domain [, category]])
              Returns the translation of string in text domain domain for
              locale category category.  The default value for domain is the
              current value of TEXTDOMAIN.  The default value for category is
              If you supply a value for category, it must be a string equal to
              one of the known locale categories described in GAWK: Effective
              AWK Programming.  You must also supply a text domain.  Use
              TEXTDOMAIN if you want to use the current domain.

       dcngettext(string1 , string2 , number [, domain [, category]])
              Returns the plural form used for number of the translation of
              string1 and string2 in text domain domain for locale category
              category.  The default value for domain is the current value of
              TEXTDOMAIN.  The default value for category is "LC_MESSAGES".
              If you supply a value for category, it must be a string equal to
              one of the known locale categories described in GAWK: Effective
              AWK Programming.  You must also supply a text domain.  Use
              TEXTDOMAIN if you want to use the current domain.

       Functions in AWK are defined as follows:

              function name(parameter list) { statements }

       Functions are executed when they are called from within expressions in
       either patterns or actions.  Actual parameters supplied in the function
       call are used to instantiate the formal parameters declared in the
       function.  Arrays are passed by reference, other variables are passed
       by value.

       Since functions were not originally part of the AWK language, the
       provision for local variables is rather clumsy: They are declared as
       extra parameters in the parameter list.  The convention is to separate
       local variables from real parameters by extra spaces in the parameter
       list.  For example:

              function  f(p, q,     a, b)   # a and b are local

              /abc/     { ... ; f(1, 2) ; ... }

       The left parenthesis in a function call is required to immediately
       follow the function name, without any intervening white space.  This
       avoids a syntactic ambiguity with the concatenation operator.  This
       restriction does not apply to the built-in functions listed above.

       Functions may call each other and may be recursive.  Function
       parameters used as local variables are initialized to the null string
       and the number zero upon function invocation.

       Use return expr to return a value from a function.  The return value is
       undefined if no value is provided, or if the function returns by
       “falling off” the end.

       If --lint has been provided, gawk warns about calls to undefined
       functions at parse time, instead of at run time.  Calling an undefined
       function at run time is a fatal error.

       The word func may be used in place of function.

       Beginning with version 3.1 of gawk, you can dynamically add new built-
       in functions to the running gawk interpreter.  The full details are
       beyond the scope of this manual page; see GAWK: Effective AWK
       Programming for the details.

       extension(object, function)
               Dynamically link the shared object file named by object, and
               invoke function in that object, to perform initialization.
               These should both be provided as strings.  Returns the value
               returned by function.

       This function is provided and documented in GAWK: Effective AWK
       Programming, but everything about this feature is likely to change
       eventually.  We STRONGLY recommend that you do not use this feature for
       anything that you aren't willing to redo.

       pgawk accepts two signals.  SIGUSR1 causes it to dump a profile and
       function call stack to the profile file, which is either awkprof.out,
       or whatever file was named with the --profile option.  It then
       continues to run.  SIGHUP causes pgawk to dump the profile and function
       call stack and then exit.

       Print and sort the login names of all users:

            BEGIN     { FS = ":" }
                 { print $1 | "sort" }

       Count lines in a file:

                 { nlines++ }
            END  { print nlines }

       Precede each line by its number in the file:

            { print FNR, $0 }

       Concatenate and line number (a variation on a theme):

            { print NR, $0 }
       Run an external command for particular lines of data:

            tail -f access_log |
            awk '/myhome.html/ { system("nmap " $1 ">> logdir/myhome.html") }'

       String constants are sequences of characters enclosed in double quotes.
       In non-English speaking environments, it is possible to mark strings in
       the AWK program as requiring translation to the native natural
       language. Such strings are marked in the AWK program with a leading
       underscore (“_”).  For example,

              gawk 'BEGIN { print "hello, world" }'

       always prints hello, world.  But,

              gawk 'BEGIN { print _"hello, world" }'

       might print bonjour, monde in France.

       There are several steps involved in producing and running a localizable
       AWK program.

       1.  Add a BEGIN action to assign a value to the TEXTDOMAIN variable to
           set the text domain to a name associated with your program.

           BEGIN { TEXTDOMAIN = "myprog" }

       This allows gawk to find the .mo file associated with your program.
       Without this step, gawk uses the messages text domain, which likely
       does not contain translations for your program.

       2.  Mark all strings that should be translated with leading

       3.  If necessary, use the dcgettext() and/or bindtextdomain() functions
           in your program, as appropriate.

       4.  Run gawk --gen-po -f myprog.awk > myprog.po to generate a .po file
           for your program.

       5.  Provide appropriate translations, and build and install the
           corresponding .mo files.

       The internationalization features are described in full detail in GAWK:
       Effective AWK Programming.

       A primary goal for gawk is compatibility with the POSIX standard, as
       well as with the latest version of UNIX awk.  To this end, gawk
       incorporates the following user visible features which are not
       described in the AWK book, but are part of the Bell Laboratories
       version of awk, and are in the POSIX standard.

       The book indicates that command line variable assignment happens when
       awk would otherwise open the argument as a file, which is after the
       BEGIN block is executed.  However, in earlier implementations, when
       such an assignment appeared before any file names, the assignment would
       happen before the BEGIN block was run.  Applications came to depend on
       this “feature.”  When awk was changed to match its documentation, the
       -v option for assigning variables before program execution was added to
       accommodate applications that depended upon the old behavior.  (This
       feature was agreed upon by both the Bell Laboratories and the GNU

       The -W option for implementation specific features is from the POSIX

       When processing arguments, gawk uses the special option “--” to signal
       the end of arguments.  In compatibility mode, it warns about but
       otherwise ignores undefined options.  In normal operation, such
       arguments are passed on to the AWK program for it to process.

       The AWK book does not define the return value of srand().  The POSIX
       standard has it return the seed it was using, to allow keeping track of
       random number sequences.  Therefore srand() in gawk also returns its
       current seed.

       Other new features are: The use of multiple -f options (from MKS awk);
       the ENVIRON array; the \a, and \v escape sequences (done originally in
       gawk and fed back into the Bell Laboratories version); the tolower()
       and toupper() built-in functions (from the Bell Laboratories version);
       and the ANSI C conversion specifications in printf (done first in the
       Bell Laboratories version).

       There are two features of historical AWK implementations that gawk
       supports.  First, it is possible to call the length() built-in function
       not only with no argument, but even without parentheses!  Thus,

              a = length     # Holy Algol 60, Batman!

       is the same as either of

              a = length()
              a = length($0)

       This feature is marked as “deprecated” in the POSIX standard, and gawk
       issues a warning about its use if --lint is specified on the command

       The other feature is the use of either the continue or the break
       statements outside the body of a while, for, or do loop.  Traditional
       AWK implementations have treated such usage as equivalent to the next
       statement.  Gawk supports this usage if --traditional has been

       Gawk has a number of extensions to POSIX awk.  They are described in
       this section.  All the extensions described here can be disabled by
       invoking gawk with the --traditional or --posix options.

       The following features of gawk are not available in POSIX awk.

       · No path search is performed for files named via the -f option.
         Therefore the AWKPATH environment variable is not special.

       · The \x escape sequence.  (Disabled with --posix.)

       · The fflush() function.  (Disabled with --posix.)

       · The ability to continue lines after ?  and :.  (Disabled with

       · Octal and hexadecimal constants in AWK programs.

       · The ARGIND, BINMODE, ERRNO, LINT, RT and TEXTDOMAIN variables are not

       · The IGNORECASE variable and its side-effects are not available.

       · The FIELDWIDTHS variable and fixed-width field splitting.

       · The PROCINFO array is not available.

       · The use of RS as a regular expression.

       · The special file names available for I/O redirection are not

       · The |& operator for creating co-processes.

       · The ability to split out individual characters using the null string
         as the value of FS, and as the third argument to split().

       · The optional second argument to the close() function.

       · The optional third argument to the match() function.

       · The ability to use positional specifiers with printf and sprintf().

       · The ability to pass an array to length().

       · The use of delete array to delete the entire contents of an array.

       · The use of nextfile to abandon processing of the current input file.

       · The and(), asort(), asorti(), bindtextdomain(), compl(), dcgettext(),
         dcngettext(), gensub(), lshift(), mktime(), or(), rshift(),
         strftime(), strtonum(), systime() and xor() functions.

       · Localizable strings.

       · Adding new built-in functions dynamically with the extension()

       The AWK book does not define the return value of the close() function.
       Gawk's close() returns the value from fclose(3), or pclose(3), when
       closing an output file or pipe, respectively.  It returns the process's
       exit status when closing an input pipe.  The return value is -1 if the
       named file, pipe or co-process was not opened with a redirection.

       When gawk is invoked with the --traditional option, if the fs argument
       to the -F option is “t”, then FS is set to the tab character.  Note
       that typing gawk -F\t ...  simply causes the shell to quote the “t,”
       and does not pass “\t” to the -F option.  Since this is a rather ugly
       special case, it is not the default behavior.  This behavior also does
       not occur if --posix has been specified.  To really get a tab character
       as the field separator, it is best to use single quotes: gawk -F'\t'

       If gawk is configured with the --enable-switch option to the configure
       command, then it accepts an additional control-flow statement:
              switch (expression) {
              case value|regex : statement
              [ default: statement ]

       If gawk is configured with the --disable-directories-fatal option, then
       it will silently skip directories named on the command line.
       Otherwise, it will do so only if invoked with the --traditional option.

       The AWKPATH environment variable can be used to provide a list of
       directories that gawk searches when looking for files named via the -f
       and --file options.

       If POSIXLY_CORRECT exists in the environment, then gawk behaves exactly
       as if --posix had been specified on the command line.  If --lint has
       been specified, gawk issues a warning message to this effect.

       egrep(1), getpid(2), getppid(2), getpgrp(2), getuid(2), geteuid(2),
       getgid(2), getegid(2), getgroups(2)

       The AWK Programming Language, Alfred V. Aho, Brian W. Kernighan, Peter
       J. Weinberger, Addison-Wesley, 1988.  ISBN 0-201-07981-X.

       GAWK: Effective AWK Programming, Edition 3.0, published by the Free
       Software Foundation, 2001.  The current version of this document is
       available online at

       The -F option is not necessary given the command line variable
       assignment feature; it remains only for backwards compatibility.

       Syntactically invalid single character programs tend to overflow the
       parse stack, generating a rather unhelpful message.  Such programs are
       surprisingly difficult to diagnose in the completely general case, and
       the effort to do so really is not worth it.

       The original version of UNIX awk was designed and implemented by Alfred
       Aho, Peter Weinberger, and Brian Kernighan of Bell Laboratories.  Brian
       Kernighan continues to maintain and enhance it.

       Paul Rubin and Jay Fenlason, of the Free Software Foundation, wrote
       gawk, to be compatible with the original version of awk distributed in
       Seventh Edition UNIX.  John Woods contributed a number of bug fixes.
       David Trueman, with contributions from Arnold Robbins, made gawk
       compatible with the new version of UNIX awk.  Arnold Robbins is the
       current maintainer.

       The initial DOS port was done by Conrad Kwok and Scott Garfinkle.
       Scott Deifik is the current DOS maintainer.  Pat Rankin did the port to
       VMS, and Michal Jaegermann did the port to the Atari ST.  The port to
       OS/2 was done by Kai Uwe Rommel, with contributions and help from
       Darrel Hankerson.  Andreas Buening now maintains the OS/2 port.  Fred
       Fish supplied support for the Amiga, and Martin Brown provided the BeOS
       port.  Stephen Davies provided the original Tandem port, and Matthew
       Woehlke provided changes for Tandem's POSIX-compliant systems.  Ralf
       Wildenhues now maintains that port.

       See the README file in the gawk distribution for current information
       about maintainers and which ports are currently supported.

       This man page documents gawk, version 3.1.7.

       If you find a bug in gawk, please send electronic mail to bug-  Please include your operating system and its revision,
       the version of gawk (from gawk --version), what C compiler you used to
       compile it, and a test program and data that are as small as possible
       for reproducing the problem.

       Before sending a bug report, please do the following things.  First,
       verify that you have the latest version of gawk.  Many bugs (usually
       subtle ones) are fixed at each release, and if yours is out of date,
       the problem may already have been solved.  Second, please see if
       setting the environment variable LC_ALL to LC_ALL=C causes things to
       behave as you expect. If so, it's a locale issue, and may or may not
       really be a bug.  Finally, please read this man page and the reference
       manual carefully to be sure that what you think is a bug really is,
       instead of just a quirk in the language.

       Whatever you do, do NOT post a bug report in comp.lang.awk.  While the
       gawk developers occasionally read this newsgroup, posting bug reports
       there is an unreliable way to report bugs.  Instead, please use the
       electronic mail addresses given above.

       If you're using a GNU/Linux system or BSD-based system, you may wish to
       submit a bug report to the vendor of your distribution.  That's fine,
       but please send a copy to the official email address as well, since
       there's no guarantee that the bug will be forwarded to the gawk

       Brian Kernighan of Bell Laboratories provided valuable assistance
       during testing and debugging.  We thank him.

       Copyright © 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999,
       2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

       Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this
       manual page provided the copyright notice and this permission notice
       are preserved on all copies.

       Permission is granted to copy and distribute modified versions of this
       manual page under the conditions for verbatim copying, provided that
       the entire resulting derived work is distributed under the terms of a
       permission notice identical to this one.

       Permission is granted to copy and distribute translations of this
       manual page into another language, under the above conditions for
       modified versions, except that this permission notice may be stated in
       a translation approved by the Foundation.

Free Software Foundation          Jul 10 2009                          GAWK(1)