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12.2. Command-Line Syntax

The syntax for invoking sed has two forms:

sed [options] 'command' file(s)

sed [options] -f scriptfile file(s)

The first form allows you to specify an editing command on the command line, surrounded by single quotes. The second form allows you to specify a scriptfile, a file containing sed commands. If no files are specified, sed reads from standard input.

The following options are recognized:

-e cmd

Next argument is an editing command; not needed unless specifying two or more editing commands.

-f scriptfile

Next argument is a file containing editing commands.


Suppress the default output; sed displays only those lines specified with the p command or with the p flag of the s command.


Display version number.


Same as -n.


Same as -e.


Same as -f.


Display brief help message with command-line options.


Same as -n.


Same as -V.

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