Prints a file leaving out all blank lines and comment-only lines

egrep -v "^\s*(#|$)" myfile.cfg
Does not print any line that either: - is empty - contains only spaces or tabs - starts with # - starts with spaces/tabs followed by a #

By: dan
2011-12-08 15:25:17

What Others Think

You got your useless cat award. Congratulations
zolden · 488 weeks and 2 days ago
This, instead of dumping only lines containing only whitespace, will dump lines containing only "s". Probably not real useful, but you never know. :-)
trapperb · 488 weeks and 2 days ago
Might be useful for boring configs with lots of comments, but as pointed above it needs backslash before that s because, currently it does NOT do what description says.
mwgamera · 487 weeks and 6 days ago
For some reason the backslash does not show up. Here's the command: cat boring.conf | egrep -v "^\s*(#|$)"
dan · 487 weeks and 5 days ago
Or: egrep -v "^\s*(#|$)" boring.conf No need for cat(1).
atoponce · 486 weeks and 5 days ago
Thanks @atoponce, much better. I've modified the command.
dan · 486 weeks and 3 days 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?

You must be signed in to comment.

What's this? is the place to record those command-line gems that you return to again and again. That way others can gain from your CLI wisdom and you from theirs too. All commands can be commented on, discussed and voted up or down.

Share Your Commands

Stay in the loop…

Follow the Tweets.

Every new command is wrapped in a tweet and posted to Twitter. Following the stream is a great way of staying abreast of the latest commands. For the more discerning, there are Twitter accounts for commands that get a minimum of 3 and 10 votes - that way only the great commands get tweeted.


Subscribe to the feeds.

Use your favourite RSS aggregator to stay in touch with the latest commands. There are feeds mirroring the 3 Twitter streams as well as for virtually every other subset (users, tags, functions,…):

Subscribe to the feed for: