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The sed FAQ
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2.2. What versions of sed are there, and where can I get them?

2.2.1. Free versions

Note: "Free" does not mean "public domain" nor does it necessarily mean you will never be charged for it. All versions of sed in this section except the CP/M versions are based on the GNU general public license and are "free software" by that standard (for details, see This means you can get the source code and develop it further.

At the URLs listed in this category, sed binaries or source code can be downloaded and used without fees or license payments. Unix platforms
ssed v3.60

ssed is the version recommended by the FAQ maintainers, since it shares the same codebase with GNU sed, has the most options, and is free software (you can get the source). Though there were earlier version of ssed distributed, sites for these are not being listed.
GNU sed v4.0.5

This is the latest official version of GNU sed. It offers in-place text replacement as an option switch.
BSD multi-byte sed (Japanese)

Based on the latest version of GNU sed, which supports multi-byte characters.
GNU sed v3.02.80

An alpha test release which was the base for the development of ssed and GNU sed v4.0.
GNU sed v3.02a

Interim version with most features of GNU sed v3.02.80.

GNU sed v3.02
GNU sed v3.02-8

source code and binaries for Debian GNU/Linux

For some time, the GNU project <> used Eric S. Raymond's version of sed (ESR sed v1.1), but eventually dropped it because it had too many built-in limits. In 1991 Howard Helman modified the GNU/ESR sed and produced a flexible version of sed v1.5 available at several sites (Helman's version permitted things like \<...\> to delimit word boundaries, \xHH to enter hex code and \n to indicate newlines in the replace string). This version did not catch on with the GNU project and their version of sed has moved in a similar but different direction.

sed v1.3, by Eric Steven Raymond (released 4 June 1998)

Eric Raymond <[email protected]> wrote one of the earliest versions of sed. On his website <> which also distributes many freeware utilities he has written or worked on, he describes sed v1.1 this way:

"This is the fast, small sed originally distributed in the GNU toolkit and still distributed with Minix. The GNU people ditched it when they built their own sed around an enhanced regex package -- but it's still better for some uses (in particular, faster and less memory-intensive)." (Version 1.3 fixes an unidentified bug and adds the L command to hexdump the current pattern space.) OS/2
GNU sed v3.02.80
GNU sed v3.02 # binaries     # source Microsoft Windows (Win3x, Win9x, WinNT, Win2K)
GNU sed v4.0.5

32-bit binaries and docs. Precompiled versions not available (yet).

GNU sed v3.02.80

32-bit binaries and docs, using DJGPP compiler. For details on new features, see Unix section, above. # DOS binaries        # source # binaries # docs # source
GNU sed v2.05

32-bit binaries, no docs. Requires 80386 DX (SX will not run) and must be run in a DOS window or in a full screen DOS session under Microsoft Windows. Will not run in MS-DOS mode (outside Win/Win95). We recommend using the latest version of GNU sed.
GNU sed v1.03

modified by Frank Whaley.

This version was part of the "Virtually UN*X" toolset, hosted by; that website is now closed. Gsed v1.03 supported Win9x long filenames, as well as hex, decimal, binary, and octal character representations.

The Cygwin toolkit:

Formerly know as "GNU-Win32 tools." According to their home page, "The Cygwin tools are Win32 ports of the popular GNU development tools for Windows NT, 95 and 98. They function through the use of the Cygwin library which provides a UNIX-like API on top of the Win32 API." The version of sed used is GNU sed v3.02.

Minimalist GNU for Windows (MinGW):

According to their home page, "MinGW ('Minimalist GNU for Windows') refers to a set of runtime headers, used in building a compiler system based on the GNU GCC and binutils projects. It compiles and links code to be run on Win32 platforms ... MinGW uses Microsoft runtime libraries, distributed with the Windows operating system." The version of sed used is GNU sed v3.02.

sed v1.5 (a/k/a HHsed), by Howard Helman

Compiled with Mingw32 for 32-bit environments described above. This version should support Win95 long filenames. MS-DOS
sed v1.6 (from HHsed), by Walter Briscoe

This is a forthcoming version, now in beta testing, but with many new features. It corrects all the bugs in sed v1.5, and adds the best features of sedmod v1.0 (below). It is available in 16-bit and 32-bit compiled versions for MS-DOS. Sorry, no URLs available yet.

sed v1.5 (a/k/a HHsed), by Howard Helman

uncompiled source code (Turbo C)

DOS executable and documentation
sedmod v1.0, by Hern Chen
GNU sed v3.02.80

See section ("Microsoft Windows"), above.

GNU sed v2.05

Does not run under MS-DOS.

GNU sed v1.18

32-bit binaries and source, using DJGPP compiler. Requires 80386 SX or better. Also requires 3 CWS*.EXE extenders on the path. See section 5.5 ("What is CSDPMI*B.ZIP and why do I need it?"), below. We recommend using a newer version of GNU sed.
GNU sed v1.06

16-bit binaries and source. Should run under any MS-DOS system. CP/M
ssed v2.2, by Chuck A. Forsberg

Written for CP/M, ssed (for "small/stupid stream editor) supports only the a(ppend), c(hange), d(elete) and i(nsert) options, and apparently doesn't support regular expressions. A -u switch will "unsqueeze" compressed files and was used mainly in conjunction with DIF.COM for source code maintenance. (file: ssed22.lbr)

change, by Michael M. Rubenstein

Rubenstein released a version of sed called CHANGE.COM (the TTOOLS.LBR archive member CHANGE.CZM is a "crunched" file). CHANGE.COM supports full RE's except grouping and backreferences, and its only function is global substitution. (file: ttools.lbr) Macintosh v8 or v9

Since sed is a command-line utility, it is not customary to think of sed being used on a Mac. Nonetheless, the following instructions from Aurelio Jargas describe the process for running sed on MacOS version version 8 or 9.

(1) Download and install the Apple DiskCopy application

(2) Download and install Apple MPW

(3) Download and expand Matthias Neeracher's GNU sed for MPW. (They seem to have misnumbered the sed filename.)

(4) Enter the sed-3.02 directory and doubleclick the 'sed' file

(5) MPW Shell will open up. It will be a command window instead of a command line, but sed should work as expected. For example:

       echo aa | sed 's/a/Z/g'<ENTER>

Note that ENTER is different from RETURN on an iMac. Apple also has its own version of sed on MPW, called "StreamEdit", with a syntax fairly similar to that of normal sed.

2.2.2. Shareware and Commercial versions Unix platforms
       [ Additional information needed. ] OS/2
Hamilton Labs:

A sizable set of Unix/C shell utilities designed for OS/2. Price is $350 in the US, $395 elsewhere, with FedEx shipping, unconditional guarantee, unlimited support and free updates. A demo version of the suite can be downloaded from this site, but a stand-alone copy of sed is not available. Windows 95/98, Windows NT, Windows 2000
Hamilton Labs:

A sizable set of Unix/C shell utilities designed for Win9x, WinNT, and Win2K. Price is $350 in the US, $395 elsewhere, with FedEx shipping, unconditional guarantee, unlimited support and free updates. A demo version of the suite can be downloaded from this site, but a stand-alone copy of sed is not available.


Interix (formerly known as OpenNT) is advertised as "a complete UNIX system environment running natively on Microsoft Windows NT", and is licensed and supported by Softway Systems. It offers over 200 Unix utilities, and supports Unix shells, sockets, networking, and more. A single-user edition runs about $200. A free demo or evaluation copy will run for 31 days and then quit; to continue using it, you must purchase the commercial version.

MKS NuTCRACKER Professional

A different, yet related product line offered by MKS (Mortice Kern Systems, below); the awkward spelling "NuTCRACKER" is intentional. Various packages offer hundreds of Unix utilities for Win32 environments. Sed is not available as a separate product.


UnixDos is a suite of 82 Unix utilities ported over to the Windows environments. There are 16-bit versions for Win3.x and 32-bit versions for WinNT/Win95. It is distributed as uncrippled shareware for the first 30 days. After the test period, the utilities will not run and you must pay the registration fee of $50.

Their version of sed supports "\n" in the RHS of expressions, and increases the length of input lines to 10,000 characters. By special arrangement with the owners, persons who want a licensed version of sed only (without the other utilities) may pay a license fee of $10.


U/WIN is a suite of Unix utilities created for WinNT and Win95 systems. It is owned by AT&T, created by David Korn (author of the Unix korn shell), and is freely distributed only to educational institutions, AT&T employees, or certain researchers; all others must pay a fee after a 90-day evaluation period expires. U/WIN operates best with the NTFS (WinNT file system) but will run in degraded mode with the FAT file system and in further degraded mode under Win95. A minimal installation takes about 25 to 30 megs of disk space. Sed is not available as a separate file for download, but comes with the suite. MS-DOS
Mix C/Utilities Toolchest

According to their web page, "The C/Utilities Toolchest adds over 40 powerful UNIX utilities to your MS-DOS operating system. The result is an environment very similar to UNIX operating systems, yet 100% compatible with MS-DOS programs and commands." The toolchest costs $19.95, with source code available for an additional fee. Mix C's version of sed is not available separately.

MKS (Mortice Kern Systems) Toolkit

Sed comes bundled with the MKS Toolkit, which is distributed only as commercial software; it is not available separately.

Thompson Automation Software

The Thompson Toolkit contains over 100 familiar Unix utilities, including a version of the Unix Korn shell. It runs under MS-DOS, OS/2, Win3.x, Win9x, and WinNT. Sed is one of the utilities, though Thompson is better known for its version of awk for DOS, TAWK. The toolkit runs about $150; sed is not available separately.

The sed FAQ
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   Reprinted courtesy of Eric Pement. Also available at Design by Interspire