Tech and Biz Ramblings

Stripping Carriage Returns From Text Files

One of the problems with working on Linux and Windows OSes has to do with manipulating text files. Lines are separated by a carriage return and a line break character in text files on Windows, whereas on Linux, they separation is done through a single line break character.

When text files from Windows are opened in Linux, you often see ^M appearing at the end of lines like this:

Line 1^M
Line 2^M

The easiest way to remove the carriage return characters (represented by ^M) is to use the dos2unix command. This lightweight program can be easily obtained on Debian-based systems with the command:

sudo apt-get install dos2unix

Other than using the dos2unix command, the fastest way to remove the carriage return characters is the following command:

cat file1.txt | tr -d '\r' > file2.txt
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