04 Jan 2012 @ 8:00 PM 

Hello, and thank you for coming again !

I have noticed that some of you are coming via the RSS feed, and it is nice to see you are following this blog thoroughly !

Today, the topic is ” Equal Tilde operator”

The situation

You have a variable, and you need to check if the content is a single digit, or the letter “a” or the letter “A” or the letter “b” or the letter “B”

The solution

You do not use the equal tilde and you die of boredom :

if [[ ${var} = [0-9] ]] || [ “$var” = “a” ] || [ “$var” = “A” ] || [ “$var” = “b” ] || [ “$var” = “B” ] ; then

or you use the equal tile operator :

if [[ “${var}” =~ \^\[0-9]\|a\|b\|A\|B\$ ]] ; then

and you can live another day.

The equal tilde operator allows you to use regex (the same ones you used for see, remember ?) in an if command.

Note the two square brackets.

Thank you for reading, and see you tomorrow !


Nota bene :

You should not put the right side of the =~ operator in quotes, as this will mean a string, and not a regex.

If you do not want escaping everything that might need to be escaping, just put your complicated regex in a variable :

RegEx=”My Complicated Regex”

if [[ “${var}” =~ ${RegEx} ]]; then


Posted By: Dimi
Last Edit: 05 Jan 2012 @ 07:54 PM

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 20 Dec 2011 @ 8:00 PM 

Ok, a quick one today.

If you have never used sed, it is time to do so.

sed stands for Stream EDitor. It is a way to make quick changes in a file or a stream (between pipes). It is extremely powerful, and very fast.

Its main function is to search for strings, then apply changes to it. A small example :

sed -e ‘s/hell/heaven/g’ file >file2

This would parse the file, and changes all the occurrences of “hell” by “heaven“. Try to do that without sed (even awk will make it quite difficult).

On the above example, the ‘-e‘ is not useful. You can forget it, but I prefer to put it all the time, because it becomes mandatory if you want to chain sed commands, i.e. :

sed -e ‘s/hell/heaven/g’ -e ‘1d’ file >file2

This would replace the “hell” with “heaven” in the file, then delete the first line of the file.

Some version of sed allow for in-place changes, meaning that you do not have to use a second file to write the output. However, this is not available in all versions and systems, so I would discourage the use if you are moving from one server to another.

The real power of sed are the REGEX, or REGular EXpressions.

Small example : Imagine you want to comment out all the scripts called “Boom.sh” that are called inside the other script “Badaboom.sh”, a script 123000 lines long… How do you do that ? vi ? vim ? notepad ?

sed -e ‘/Boom.sh/s/^/# /’ Badaboom.sh >Badaboom2.sh

Done !

The first part of the command ‘/Boom.sh/’ searches for all the lines that contains the string between the slashes.

The second part of the command ‘s/^/# /’ replaces, on the found line, the beginning of the line (^) with a hash-space string (# ).

REGEXs can become very useful, and if you are working with Unix, it is time for you to know the basics of this super tool sed.


Thank you for reading,


Posted By: Dimi
Last Edit: 21 Dec 2011 @ 09:34 AM

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