Most Used Commands

Levi Pearson levipearson at
Tue Jun 25 23:33:51 MDT 2013

On Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 11:23 PM, Andy Bradford <amb-plugg at> wrote:
> Thus said "Ryan Simpkins" on Tue, 25 Jun 2013 22:18:29 -0600:
>> Look at that. Joseph has percentages. You Perl guys are always showing
>> off. ;-)
> How do you know he didn't do it with awk? (besides the fact that this is
> Joseph Hall we're talking about :-)
> $ fc -l 1 | awk '{ a[$2]++ } END { for (b in a) printf("%8d %8.2f%% %10s\n", a[b], 100 * a[b] / NR, b) }' | sort -k 1r | head -10
>      153    32.83%     authpf
>       60    12.88%       exec
>       28     6.01%      whois
>       26     5.58%        ssh
>       24     5.15%       tmux
>       20     4.29%       lynx
>       18     3.86%         ls
>       13     2.79%  sntpclock
>       13     2.79%        awk
>       12     2.58%         cd
> Yes, I left the line count off, but it would be trivial to add.

I love awk, it's like a nice subset of perl that's actually small and
simple enough to remember how to use between the odd times that I need
to reach for a "rubbish lister".

I recently needed to do some statistical analysis on some data logs I
captured from some devices I was testing.  The log format was very
close to being compatible with gnuplot and R, but I needed to change
the format slightly and apply some data grouping and filtering before
it was ready to feed into the analysis tools.

After a quick refresher course with the awk manual, I was quickly
slicing and dicing the data and generating awesome graphs and boxplots
and the like.  I even got the script modified a bit to group the data
several different ways from a single pass through the input file.

Whenever I have to make sense of some huge pile of logged data, awk is
the first thing I reach for.  If you don't know awk, you should learn
it!  Right now!


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