Linux Blog


Section: MySQL Database System (1)
Updated: 11/15/2007
Index Return to Main Contents


replace - a string-replacement utility  


replace arguments


The replace utility program changes strings in place in files or on the standard input.

Invoke replace in one of the following ways:

shell> replace from to [from to] ... -- file [file] ...
shell> replace from to [from to] ... < file

from represents a string to look for and to represents its replacement. There can be one or more pairs of strings.

Use the -- option to indicate where the string-replacement list ends and the filenames begin. In this case, any file named on the command line is modified in place, so you may want to make a copy of the original before converting it. replace prints a message indicating which of the input files it actually modifies.

If the -- option is not given, replace reads the standard input and writes to the standard output.

replace uses a finite state machine to match longer strings first. It can be used to swap strings. For example, the following command swaps a and b in the given files, file1 and file2:

shell> replace a b b a -- file1 file2 ...

The replace program is used by msql2mysql. See msql2mysql(1).

replace supports the following options:

-?, -I

Display a help message and exit.

-# debug_options

Write a debugging log. The debug_options string often is 'd:t:o,file_name'.


Silent mode. Print less information what the program does.


Verbose mode. Print more information about what the program does.


Display version information and exit.



Copyright 2007 MySQL AB

This documentation is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; version 2 of the License.

This documentation is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with the program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301 USA or see

Please email <> for more information or if you are interested in doing a translation.  


For more information, please refer to the MySQL Reference Manual, which may already be installed locally and which is also available online at  






Random Man Pages: