Sed Delete Last Character

Posted on in Categories , , , , , , , last updated July 14, 2009

How do I delete a last character from input line under UNIX / Linux using sed tool? My sample scientific input data line is as follows and I’d like to get rid of last + character only:

379100.46+521870.11+363838.75+382869.59+

How do I used sed to delete last + character?

Use it as follows:
echo "379100.46+521870.11+363838.75+382869.59+" | sed '$s/.$//'
If you would like to calculate final result, enter:
echo "379100.46+521870.11+363838.75+382869.59+" | sed '$s/.$//' | bc -l

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

11 comment

  1. Hi,

    Please help me for this.

    input : 379100.46+521870.11+363838.75+382869.59
    output : 379100.46+521870.11
    I would like remove last the character based last two delimiter. Please help me.

  2. That was exactly what I was searching for, thanks!
    Can you explain why it works, though? I use sed quite often but I don’t know what the

    $s/.$

    does, I always do

    sed "s|text|replacement|g"

    .

  3. Konrad,

    The “$” (dollar sign; I usually call it “cash”) is a marker or flag that tells sed to jump to the end of a line and edit something in the vicinity of the last character in it. I believe its counterpart for the beginning of a line is “^” (up-pointing carat), but don’t quote me on that. These markers are part of the sed program itself, which can present a problem only when the characters they represent are the ones you want to “sed out” of a string — sometimes even escaping them doesn’t work in those instances.

    Hope this helps.

    BZT

  4. I have file…called file1 in the below format

    1,abc,2,te1,gem,
    2,3,b,r,4
    4,5,3,t,r,
    9,8,y,6,5,
    7,5,1,e,5

    means at the end of some of the lines ,i don’t have comma(,)
    now can i place comma in those lines so that my o/p looks like below

    1,abc,2,te1,gem,
    2,3,b,r,4,
    4,5,3,t,r,
    9,8,y,6,5,
    7,5,1,e,5

  5. how to add a new column(first column) with variable string value to an existing file

    input file name ….filename1
    format

    col1,col2,col3,col4
    1,2,3,4
    5,4,3,2
    m,g,f,r

    o/p file format
    col0,col1,col2,col3,col4
    abc,1,2,3,4
    abc,4,3,2,5
    abc,8,7,6,3
    abc,9,8,6,1

    ‘abc’ value will change based on the input to the INPUT file

    can you pls help

  6. 379100.46+521870.11+363838.75+382869.59+

    Deleting the + at the end is ok but what if there’s no + sign there, wouldn’t you delete the 9 then? and how to solve it so that only the + is deleted?

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