Get Last Field with awk

awk with $NF awk with $NF

New Help at Unix Tutorial feature (right bottom of every page) I launched over the weekend is great! Even a few hours I’m online each moring and each evening are giving me plenty of opportunities to meet visitors and to help with Unix questions. Today I discussed awk fields delimiter with someone, speicifcally the part of showing the last field in a string.

NF Variable in awk Awk has a number of built-in variables. NF is one of them – it shows the total number of in a given string that awk just finished parsing. Used with the $ macro, NF becomes $NF and gives you the awk field number NF – which is the last field in an awk string.

If we have a DIRNAME variable with a typical full path, like this:

greys@mcfly:~ $ DIRNAME=/Users/greys/proj/unixtutorial
greys@mcfly:~ $ echo $DIRNAME

… then it’s possible to get the name of the last subdirectory in DIRNAME using awk and $NF:

greys@mcfly:~ $ echo $DIRNAME | awk -F\/ '{print $NF}'

That’s it – as simple as that!

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