What Does awk ‘{ print $2; }’ Mean?

The awk is a popular command used to manipulate the text or command output. The print is a subcommand provided by the awk in order to print data to the standard output. The print subcommand can get different parameters where $2 is one of them. In this tutorial, we examine what awk ‘{ print $2}’ mean.

awk ‘{ print $2; }’

The $ sign is used to express columns for the input text. Columns are generally separated with spaces or tabs. In the following example, we use the following text file which consists of 4 columns.

surname name  age location
baydan   ismail  38  canakkale
baydan   ahmet 9    ankara
baydan   ali        9    ankara
baydan   elif      12   canakkale

We use the awk ‘{ print $2}’ to print second columns which contain the names.

$ awk '{ print $2 }' names.txt

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