Linux / UNIX: Sed Replace Newline

by on January 6, 2009 · 4 comments· LAST UPDATED November 6, 2009

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How do I replace newline (\n) with sed under UNIX / Linux operating systems?

You can use the following sed command:

sed '{:q;N;s/\n//g;t q}' /path/to/data.txt

You can replace newline (\n) with * character or word 'FOO':

sed '{:q;N;s/\n/*/g;t q}' /path/to/data.txt


sed '{:q;N;s/\n/FOO/g;t q}' /path/to/data.txt

OR replace it with tab (\t):

sed '{:q;N;s/\n/\t/g;t q}' /path/to/data.txt

To update file use -i option:

sed -i '{:q;N;s/\n/\t/g;t q}' /path/to/data.txt
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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jalal hajigholamali August 3, 2011 at 4:04 pm

very nice example


2 Claudio October 28, 2011 at 9:25 pm

It doesnt work for me :(

$ sed ‘{:q;N;s/\n/\t/g;t q}’ /fi/fa/foo.fu
sed: 1: “{:q;N;s/\n/\t/g;t q}”: unexpected EOF (pending }’s)


3 Harry Phillips March 27, 2013 at 5:12 am

Doesn’t work for me in Cygwin, if there are 17 lines the first line has 16 of the replacement, line 2 will have 15 etc until the last line does not have the replacement.


4 Harry Phillips March 27, 2013 at 5:17 am

Simpler way to replace the end of the line:

sed ‘s/$/FOO/’ /path/to/data.txt


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