Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm having an issue with sed not returning what I expect when using a regex pattern to clean up some output from a mysql query.

mysql -uroot -p -e 'SELECT `path` FROM db.media_gallery' | sed -n -r 's/[^\/]+([^\s]+).*/\1/p'

The query returns a bunch of rows such as these:

| /media/M/W/lmt_MWS04_8.png    |
| /media/M/W/lmt_MWS02_11.png   |

When I pipe this through the sed command listed above, it returns this:


Where did "media" go? Why does it randomly remove a part of my string?

Does anyone know how to fix my regex?

share|improve this question
"media" goes away because it is matched by the [^\/]+ part of your regex, which isn't included in your output. We can't fix your regex unless we know what you were trying to do. Are you trying to trim whitespace? – wingedsubmariner Sep 19 '13 at 0:58
up vote 3 down vote accepted

No need for sed, the real problem is you're using mysql's prettified output that's intended for human rather than automated consumption. This is a simple task that mysql is more than capable of.

mysql -N -s -r -uroot -p -e 'SELECT `path` FROM db.media_gallery'

will return:


from 'man mysql':

--skip-column-names, -N
--silent, -s
--raw, -r
share|improve this answer

The "media" matched "[^/]+" so it was replaced by the stuff in the parentheses. If you want it, you need to open the parentheses before that regex clause.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .