Awk is a versatile programming language designed for pattern scanning and processing language and often used as a data extraction and reporting tool. It’s an excellent filter and report writer. It’s a standard feature of most Unix-like operating systems.
Awk is small, fast, simple, and has a clean comprehensible C-like input language. It has robust programming constructs including if/else, while, do/while and for C-style and array iteration.
The name awk comes from the initials of its designers: Alfred V. Aho, Peter J. Weinberger, and Brian W. Kernighan. The original version of awk was written in 1977 at AT&T Bell Laboratories.
The language is suited for:
- Tallying information from text files and creating reports from the results.
- Adding additional functions to text editors like “vi”.
- Translating files from one format to another.
- Creating small databases.
- Performing mathematical operations on files of numeric data.
Here’s our recommended tutorials to learn Awk. If you’re looking for free Awk programming books, check here.
1. Awk – A Tutorial and Introduction by Bruce Barnett
Awk is an extremely versatile programming language for working on files. We’ll teach you just enough to understand the examples in this page, plus a smidgen.
2. Getting Started With AWK Command by Sylvain Leroux
Here are 25 AWK command examples that will help you master the basics of AWK.
3. Why you should learn just a little Awk: An Awk tutorial by Example
This article aims to teach you the most useful stuff – not the “fundamentals”, but the 5 minutes worth of practical stuff that will get you most of this language.
4. Steve’s Awk Academy by Steve Litt
Steve’s Awk Academy offers a good introduction to the power of Awk.
All tutorials in this series:
|Free Programming Tutorials|
|ABAP||Advanced Business Application Programming|
|Ada||ALGOL-like programming language, extended from Pascal and others|
|Agda||Dependently typed functional language based on intuitionistic type theory|
|Alice||Educational language with an integrated development environment|
|Arduino||Inexpensive, flexible, open source microcontroller platform|
|Assembly||As close to writing machine code without writing in pure hexadecimal|
|Awk||Versatile language designed for pattern scanning and processing|
|Bash||‘Bourne-Again-SHell’ is both a shell and programming language|
|BASIC||Family of general-purpose, high-level programming languages|
|C||General-purpose, procedural, portable, high-level language|
|C++||General-purpose, portable, free-form, multi-paradigm language|
|C#||Combines the power and flexibility of C++ with the simplicity of Visual Basic|
|Chapel||Parallel-programming language in development at Cray Inc.|
|Clojure||Dialect of the Lisp programming language|
|COBOL||Common Business-Oriented Language|
|Coq||Dependently typed language similar to Agda, Idris, F*, Lean, and others|
|Crystal||General-purpose, concurrent, multi-paradigm, object-oriented language|
|CSS||CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) specifies a web page’s appearance|
|D||General-purpose systems programming language with a C-like syntax|
|Dart||Client-optimized programming language for fast apps|
|Dylan||Multi-paradigm language, supports functional & object-oriented programming|
|ECMAScript||Best known as the language embedded in web browsers|
|Elixir||Relatively new functional language that runs on the Erlang virtual machine|
|Emacs Lisp||A dialect of the Lisp programming language.|
|Erlang||General-purpose, concurrent, declarative, functional language|
|F#||General purpose, strongly typed, multi-paradigm language. Part of ML|
|Factor||Dynamic stack-based language|
|Forth||Imperative stack-based programming language|
|Fortran||The first high-level language, using the first compiler|
|GDScript||Godot’s built-in language for scripting and interacting with nodes|
|Go||Compiled, statically typed programming language|
|Groovy||Powerful, optionally typed and dynamic language|
|Hack||For the HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM), created as a dialect of PHP|
|Haml||HTML Abstraction Markup Language|
|Haskell||Standardized, general-purpose, polymorphically, statically typed language|
|HTML||HyperText Markup Language|
|Icon||High-level, general-purpose language|
|J||Array programming language based primarily on APL|
|Java||General-purpose, concurrent, class-based, object-oriented, high-level language|
|Julia||High-level, high-performance language for technical computing|
|Kotlin||Statically typed, general-purpose programming language with type inference|
|LabVIEW||Designed to enable domain experts to build power systems quickly|
|LaTeX||Professional document preparation system and document markup language|
|Less||Backwards-compatible language extension for Cascading Style Sheets|
|Limbo||Designed for applications running distributed systems on small computers|
|Lisp||Unique features - excellent to study programming constructs|
|Logo||Dialect of Lisp that features interactivity, modularity, extensibility|
|Lua||Designed as an embeddable scripting language|
|Markdown||Plain text formatting syntax designed to be easy-to-read and easy-to-write|
|MoonScript||Dynamic scripting programmer friendly language that compiles into Lua|
|Nim||Statically typed compiled systems language with syntax resembling Python|
|Objective-C||General purpose language which is a superset of C|
|OCaml||General-purpose, powerful, high-level language|
|Octave||High-level language, primarily intended for numerical computations|
|OpenCL||Open Computing Language|
|Pascal||Imperative and procedural language designed in the late 1960s|
|Perl||High-level, general-purpose, interpreted, scripting, dynamic language|
|Pike||Interpreted, general-purpose, high-level, cross-platform, dynamic language|
|PHP||PHP has been at the helm of the web for many years|
|Pony||Pony is an actor-model, capabilities-secure, high-performance language|
|PostScript||Page description language in electronic and desktop publishing|
|Prolog||General purpose, declarative, logic programming language|
|PureScript||Small strongly, statically typed language with expressive types|
|Python||General-purpose, structured, powerful language|
|QML||Hierarchical declarative language for user interface layout with a syntax to JSON|
|R||De facto standard among statisticians and data analysts|
|Racket||Platform for programming language design and implementation|
|Raku||Member of the Perl family of programming languages|
|Ruby||General purpose, scripting, structured, flexible, fully object-oriented language|
|Rust||Ideal for systems, embedded, and other performance critical code|
|Scala||Modern, object-functional, multi-paradigm, Java-based language|
|Scheme||General-purpose, functional, language descended from Lisp and Algol|
|Scratch||Visual programming language designed for 8-16 year-old children|
|Solidity||Object-oriented, high-level language for implementing smart contracts|
|SQL||Access and manipulate data held in a relational database management system|
|Standard ML||One of the two main dialects of the ML language|
|Swift||Powerful and intuitive general-purpose programming language|
|Tcl||Dynamic language based on concepts of Lisp, C, and Unix shells|
|V||Statically typed compiled language to build maintainable software|
|Vala||Object-oriented language with a self-hosting compiler that generates C code|
|VHDL||Very High Speed Integrated Circuit Hardware Description Language|
|VimL||Powerful scripting language of the Vim editor|
|XML||Set of rules for defining semantic tags that describe the structure and meaning|