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sed won't produce new line on Mac OS X

Discovered a problem with 'sed' UNIX command on Mac OS X tonight. I want to use it to parse text and position new line characters in the right place in the sequence. But the 'sed' program that is on Mac OS X doen't work correctly. Instead of adding new line characters, it strips the backslash and output the 'n' character. The following is an example from the Mac OS X Terminal:

  $ echo "Hello World" | sed 's/World/\nWorld/'
Hello nWorld

The same example works correctly on Ubuntu Linux:

  $ echo "Hello World" | sed 's/World/\nWorld/'
Hello
World

Is there an alternative solution. I would like to get this to work on Mac OS X. For now, I can fall back to Ubuntu Linux, but it's more work. Anyone have a work-around?

Chieh Cheng
Sun, 18 Jul 2010 08:15:54 +0000

Same identical problem! Didi you sort it out?
Thanks

fabrizio
Wed, 04 Aug 2010 12:47:40 +0000

Unfortunately, no. My only work-around now is to transfer the file to Ubuntu Linux, process it, and then transfer it back. :-(

Chieh Cheng
Wed, 04 Aug 2010 15:44:33 +0000

TRye this out: http://cafenate.wordpress.com/2010/12/05/newlines-in-sed-on- . . .

$ echo 'foo bar baz quux' | sed -e 's/ /\'$'\n/g'
foo
bar
baz
quux

zharik
Mon, 06 Jun 2011 13:07:58 +0000

Thanks, zharik. It works on both Mac OS X and Ubuntu Linux.

Chieh Cheng
Thu, 02 May 2013 21:46:57 +0400

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Title: egrep ignores begin of line on Mac OS X
Weblog: GearHack
Excerpt: Darwin UNIX commands doesn't always seem to follow standard rules, such as the "sed won't produce new line on Mac OS X " issue. I just found another exception: $ echo "Contagion" egrep -o '^.' C o n t a g i o n It's not suppose to do that. It completely ignored the beginning line character in the . . .
Tracked: Fri, 20 Jan 2012 03:39:08 +0300

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