Gawk vs Awk: Difference and Comparison

It can be challenging to write programming in Pascal or C. Using AWK, a special-purpose computer program, creating a computer is a piece of cake.

When programming in C or Pascal, multiple lines of code are required; however, AWK requires a few lines. The GNU version of AWK is called GAWK.

Key Takeaways

  1. Gawk is an extended version of Awk with additional features and functionalities.
  2. Gawk supports internationalization, allowing users to work with different languages and character sets.
  3. Awk is more portable, as it is included in most Unix-based systems by default.

Gawk vs Awk

Awk is a text processing language that is primarily used for data extraction and manipulation. It reads data from a file, processes it, and then outputs the results. Gawk, or GNU Awk, is a version of Awk that is part of the GNU project. Gawk includes all of the functionality of Awk, as well as some additional features and extensions. 

Gawk vs Awk

GAWK is considered to be comparable to AWK. However, there are some more characteristics that one really can apply to it this moment that will enhance the version you’re producing.


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Whenever it comes to efficiency, there isn’t much of a distinction between any of these.

AWK is a computer programming language. AWK can be utilized in a variety of ways.

This will be determined by the system you intend to use and how you intend to arrange it to meet your requirements. To achieve the best outcomes when you become very exact when using it.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonGawkAwk
MeaningGAWK is believed to be equivalent to a few of the additional features that one may need. This could indicate that you really want to utilize GAWK shortly.Whilst AWK is regarded to be the basic form of the command.
Used WhenWhen users believe they won’t need to alter anything and only want to make the scripts they have better to write, GAWK is a good choice.When users know they’ll need to make long-term adjustments that won’t require users to rewrite all, use AWK.
Functions OfferedBesides these functions, GWAK offers a number of others that make sifting data, collecting bits and pieces of information for analysis, and perform regular communication links more easier.On the other hand, AWK aids in the management of small and specific datasets, the generation of reports, the creation of indexes, the validation of data, and many other documentation activities.
Which is PowerfulGAWK is a better version of computing language.AWK is a slightly weaker version of GAWK.
Uniqueness and EasinessThe 2.GNU version of AWK is GAWK.With AWK, a particularly unique programming language, creating a script is a breeze.

What is Gawk? 

The GNU Development’s adaptation of the AWK computer language is known as Gawk. It follows the POSIX 1003.2 Command-Line Plus Utilities Format’s interface description.

This edition, in return, is derived from Aho, Kernighan, and Weinberger’s definition of the AWK computer program, with the inclusion of functionality available in the System V Release 4 variant of UNIX awk.

Gawk additionally includes a variety of GNU-specific additions as well as more current Bell Labs awk enhancements. The profiler edition of Gawk is pgawk.

It’s similar to gawk across every manner except that programs run slower and create an operation record in the filename awkprof.out whenever it’s done.

Gawk choices could be either 1 letter POSIX alternatives or extended GNU-style alternatives.

Extended possibilities begin with”–,” while POSIX choices start with a single “-.” Long alternatives are open for both GNU-specific as well as POSIX-required characteristics.

What is Awk?

AWK (awk) is a text-processing domain-specific dialect commonly used during extracting data and presentation.

It’s filtration, like sed as well as grep, but most Unix-like packages provide it as a default function.

The AWK languages are a data-driven scripting language that consists of a collection of operations that may be performed on flows of text information–either immediately on folders or as a component of a pipeline–to retrieve or modify the text, such as creating prepared reports.

Regular expressions, correlated arrays (arrays keyed by key values), as well as the strings data structure are all used widely in the system.

Even though AWK was created to promote one-liner programming and also has narrow, targeted applicability, the language is Turing-complete.

Therefore earlier Bell Labs consumers of AWK frequently created well-structured big AWK programs. 

The term AWK comes from the initials of its creators, Alfred Aho, Peter Weinberger, as well as Brian Kernighan, who designed this at Bell Labs within the 1970s.

The AWK Computing Language’s packaging features the bird auk, which is spelled similarly to the acronym.

Main Differences Between Gawk and Awk

  1. GAWK is thought to be comparable to a handful of the more advanced functions. This could imply that you’ll be using GAWK in the near future. The fundamental form of the function is AWK.
  2. GAWK is a suitable choice when customers think they won’t need to change much and just want to improve the scripts they already have. Use AWK whenever individuals understand they’ll have to make long-term changes that won’t force them to redo everything.
  3. GWAK also has a number of other features that make filtering data, gathering pieces of content for assessment, and maintaining frequent communication ties easier. Whereas AWK helps with the maintenance of tiny and particular datasets, management reporting, index development, validation of data, and a variety of other documenting tasks.
  4. GAWK is a more advanced computing program. Whereas AWK is a weaker form of GAWK.
  5. GAWK is the 2. GNU counterpart of AWK. Building scripts in AWK, a particularly distinctive programming language, is a breeze.
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