Change a text files contents without opening it, or intermediate files.

print 'g/'delete this line'/delete\nwq' | ex file.txt
If you've ever wanted to change a text files contents without having to create an intermediate file. This is it. Ex is a part of vim. The command as given will delete ALL lines containing "delete this line" from the file. More Examples: print '%s/'this is a line'/'that is not the same line'/g\nwq' | ex file.txt will substitute the first string with the second string. print '3a\n'Inserted Line'\n.\n\nwq' | ex file.txt will insert the given line after line 3. CAVEAT, Some distro's like the print command, others like echo with this command. Also note there are NO error messages on failure, at least that I've ever seen. Ex can also be quite fussy as to how it takes strings, parameters, etc... I use at&t's ksh syntax may very with other shells.

0
By: mph
2009-07-20 19:15:29
ex

What Others Think

Or sed -i
jmcantrell · 688 weeks and 3 days ago
sed -i only works on some platforms. I started using ex when writing scripts for AIX, Sun, SGI, & Linux. I guess I just stuck with what worked.
mph · 688 weeks and 3 days ago
Obviously you have to open() a file to edit it. I think you mean changing the file without using a full-screen editor program. Invoke vim as 'vim -n' to not use a swap file.
bwoodacre · 688 weeks ago
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thiagogo · 2 weeks and 1 day ago

What do you think?

Any thoughts on this command? Does it work on your machine? Can you do the same thing with only 14 characters?

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