The examples in this tutorial should be enough to give you a basic understanding of UNIX filters using regular expressions and how they can be used on the command line. The three utilities used,
awk, have numerous built-in options and features that go well beyond the beginning lessons discussed in this tutorial. There are books wholly devoted to
awk. Search through the
man page on
grep to learn more about its power features.
If you feel like you've mastered the basics of regular expressions and want to take the next step, Perl is another great language that utilizes regular expressions to their full extent. Masters of Perl take joy in razor-thin, efficient lines of code that appear to be nonsensical strings of characters to unfamiliar users.
If you've followed each tutorial in this series, you've now learned basic file manipulation on the command line, how to use the
vi text editor, and how to use command-line filters.
Keep an eye out for the next tutorial in this series, which will cover shell tricks and tips. In the meantime, learn all you can about regular expressions and the utilities in this tutorial. They allow you to turn long, complicated tasks into quick, elegant solutions you can be proud of!