Node:Other Versions, Previous:Bugs, Up:Installation

Other Freely Available awk Implementations

It's kind of fun to put comments like this in your awk code.
// Do C++ comments work? answer: yes! of course
Michael Brennan

There are three other freely available awk implementations. This section briefly describes where to get them:

Unix awk
Brian Kernighan has made his implementation of awk freely available. You can retrieve this version via the World Wide Web from his home page.1 It is available in several archive formats:
Shell archive
Compressed tar file
Zip file

This version requires an ISO C (1990 standard) compiler; the C compiler from GCC (the GNU Compiler Collection) works quite nicely.

See Extensions in the Bell Laboratories awk, for a list of extensions in this awk that are not in POSIX awk.

Michael Brennan has written an independent implementation of awk, called mawk. It is available under the GPL (see GNU General Public License), just as gawk is.

You can get it via anonymous ftp to the host Change directory to /pub/brennan. Use "binary" or "image" mode, and retrieve mawk1.3.3.tar.gz (or the latest version that is there).

gunzip may be used to decompress this file. Installation is similar to gawk's (see Compiling and Installing gawk on Unix).

mawk has the following extensions that are not in POSIX awk:

The next version of mawk will support nextfile.

Written by Andrew Sumner, awka translates awk programs into C, compiles them, and links them with a library of functions that provides the core awk functionality. It also has a number of extensions.

The awk translator is released under the GPL, and the library is under the LGPL.

To get awka, go to You can reach Andrew Sumner at