I have this C shell (unfortunately C is required) script called EditFile.script consisting entirely of 6 different sed commands, all to be applied to one text file.

#!/bin/csh -f

1i GameTime!!!!!!\n #append "GameTime!!!!!! at the beginning
s/pionts/points/g #sub typo
s/shot/shoot/g #sub typo
s/the\sthe/the/g #sub double the's with "the"
/^ *$/d #delete all blank lines
$a Game\nOver #append "Game Over" to the end of the file

Now the text file is 400+ lines long and I think posting it here (and its desired form) would be a waste of space.

However, when I run sed -f EditFile.script GameManual at the cmdline all of the above commands work except for the final command. No "Game Over" is appended to the end of the file. I believe it has something to do the with preceding "delete all blank lines /^ *$/d command- because when I ran the script with it removed, "Game Over" was appended. But I don't see the connection.

Why will the final sed command in the script not show? Also, since this is my first time using a csh script (and c shell), what other additions must I make for the script to work?

  • 1
    If these are sed commands (executed with sed -f), it's not really a "C shell script" and you can remove the #!/bin/csh -f (which is just a comment as far as sed is concerned). Not sure if it makes a difference, but what (interactive) shell are you running the sed command from? Oct 23, 2016 at 17:15
  • @steeldriver C shell.
    – Anonymous
    Oct 23, 2016 at 17:57

1 Answer 1


I don't think this has anything to do with C shell - and in fact, as noted in the comments, what you have is a sed script (a simple text file of sed commands) rather than a shell script, and the #!/bin/csh -f shebang is superfluous and will be treated (by sed) as a simple comment.

What you seem to be observing is that sed appears to not re-evaluate the $ (last line) address, so that if one of your previous commands happens to delete the last line of the file, then a subsequent attempt to append1 after that address fails. We can see that with a simple test (using the bash shell, for what it's worth) as follows:

# delete line 3 then append after $
$ printf 'line %d\n' {1..3} | sed -e '/3/d' -e '$a\new line'
line 1
line 2


# append after $ then delete line 3
$ printf 'line %d\n' {1..3} | sed -e '$a\new line' -e '/3/d'
line 1
line 2
new line

I find this somewhat surprising but don't know if it's the desired behavior or should be considered a bug.


[1] Techically, the a command doesn't append, but rather

Queue[s] the lines of text which follow [ ... ] to be output at the end of the current cycle, or when the next input line is read.

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