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I feel like a total newb. Why does this not work?

$ echo foobar > textfile
$ sed /foo/bar/ textfile
sed: can't find label for jump to `ar/'

I've also tried sed "/foo/bar/" textfile and sed '/foo/bar/' textfile, which all yields the same error.

Using ubuntu 8.04 and GNU sed version 4.1.5 through bash.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Try this: sed 's/foo/bar/' textfile.

  • Quotes around the statement are good practice
  • s for substitute. It is the command you want to execute. foo is the search term bar the replacement.

There is a lot of information on sed online. Eg.: http://www.catonmat.net/blog/sed-one-liners-explained-part-one/

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The s of course... thanks :-) –  Nilzor Apr 22 '12 at 11:41
Don't forget to mark this answer as 'accepted answer'. –  OrangeTux Apr 22 '12 at 12:21

You need to give sed a command; it parsed what you gave it as a search pattern /foo/ followed by the command b ar/ (branch to label ar/). You probably meant 's/foo/bar/' meaning replace the first instance of foo with bar in every line.

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