sed over writes my original file (using sed to remove leading spaces)

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# 1  
sed over writes my original file (using sed to remove leading spaces)

Hello and thx for reading this

I'm using sed to remove only the leading spaces in a file
bash-280R# cat foofile
some text
 some text
 some text
some text
some text

bash-280R# sed 's/^ *//' foofile > foofile.use

bash-280R# cat foofile.use
some text
some text
some text
some text
some text

That works great, however I really don't want to rename the file.
I was hoping this would work

bash-280R# sed 's/^ *//' foofile > foofile

It just overwrites foofile and makes it blank.

Is there a way to get around this and keep the original file name w/ the modification of removing leading spaces.

I will be running sed in a script

Thank you for your help

# 2  
Some versions of sed have a '-i' option for in-place editing. Check your man page to see if it's available on your system.


sed -i  -e 's/^ *//' foofile

Last edited by Autocross.US; 12-01-2008 at 03:27 PM..
# 3  
You are clobbering the file before the modification.
# 4  
Thanks for your help. No -i option, looks like I'm stuck renameing the file.

The following options are supported:

-e script script is an edit command for sed. See USAGE
below for more information on the format of
script. If there is just one -e option and
no -f options, the flag -e may be omitted.

-f script_file Takes the script from script_file.
script_file consists of editing commands,
one per line.

-n Suppresses the default output.
# 5  
not really, just use perl instead:
perl -pi -e 's/^ *//' foofile

# 6  
Hammer & Screwdriver You could do all on one command line

sed 's/^ *//' foofile > foofile.use ; mv foofile.use foofile

Which would execute the sed on the original file, to a new filename. Then, it would move the new file to the original.
# 7  
Thank you very much for the help and even the Perl solution.

I hope this information helps others too.


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