Originally posted on 2016-Oct-20.


1. Give names to each peak in a 3-column bed file:

$ cat Oct4_union_peaks.bed

chr1 3062833 3063056
chr1 3343519 3343843
chr1 3482630 3483324
chr1 3549654 3549895
chr1 3648929 3649295

$ awk 'BEGIN{OFS="\t"}{print $1,$2,$3,"Oct4_union_peak_" NR}' Oct4_union_peaks.bed

chr1 3062833 3063056 Oct4_union_peak_1
chr1 3343519 3343843 Oct4_union_peak_2
chr1 3482630 3483324 Oct4_union_peak_3
chr1 3549654 3549895 Oct4_union_peak_4
chr1 3648929 3649295 Oct4_union_peak_5

2. Print the number of fileds for each line:

awk '{print NF}' some_file.txt

3. Print the last column of a text file:

awk '{print $NF}' some_file.txt

4. In a narrowPeak format file, Get all peaks that have more than 5 fold enrichment:

awk '$7>5' Oct4_peaks.narrowPeak

5. In a tab-delimited file, output the lines where the 3rd column is less than the 2nd column:

# in a normal bed file, this should output nothing as the 3rd column is alway larger than the 2nd column
awk '$3<$2' Oct4_peaks.bed

6. Only output the read names, the DNA sequences or the quality strings of a fastq file:

# output read names
awk 'NR%4==1' Oct4_ChIP.fastq
# output DNA sequence
awk 'NR%4==2' Oct4_ChIP.fastq
# output quality strings
awk 'NR%4==0' Oct4_ChIP.fastq

7. Add a “chr” at the beginning of a bed file coordinates (useful to convert non mitochondrial Ensembl coordinates to UCSC coordinates):

awk '{print "chr" $0}' Oct4_peaks_ensembl.bed

8. Calculate the length of each region in a bed file and add the length to the end of each region:

awk 'BEGIN{OFS="\t"}{print $0, $3-$2}' Oct4_peaks.bed

9. Get the summit point (highest pileup) from a narrowPeak file and output as a 4-column bed file:

# simply output the summit point
awk 'BEGIN{OFS="\t"}{print $1,$2+$10,$2+$10+1,$4}' Oct4_peaks.narrowPeak
# output the summit point sorted by fold enrichment (highest to lowest)
sort -k7,7nr Oct4_peaks.narrowPeak | awk 'BEGIN{OFS="\t"}{print $1,$2+$10,$2+$10+1,$4}'


1. Output the record names from a fasta file:

grep '>' your_fasta.fa

2. Display one line before the match and two lines after the match (-A and -B options):


3. Only display the matching strings, not the entire line (-o option):

# search for the P7 end of adapter sequence of a Nextera library

# if you want to suppress output file name, use '-h' as well


1. Extract the 1st, 2nd, 4-8th, 10th and following columns from a tab-delimited file (default):

cut -f 1,2,4-8,10- input.txt

2. Extract the 4-8th columns of a comma-delimited file:

cut -f 4-8 -d, input.txt

3. Extract the last column and use ‘/’ as a delimiter:

cat input.txt | rev | cut -f 1 -d/ | rev


1. Kill all pending jobs in LSF:

bjobs | grep 'PEND' | awk '{print $1}' | xargs bkill

2. Remove all .sh files that have the word ‘foo’ in them:

grep -w 'foo' *.sh | cut -f 1 -d ':' | sort -u | xargs rm