#csv-tsv #awk #stdlib #csv #tsv #etl #data-processing

app zawk

An efficient Awk-like language implementation by Rust with stdlib

8 releases

0.5.7 May 9, 2024
0.5.6 May 2, 2024
0.5.5 Apr 27, 2024
0.5.2 Mar 18, 2024

#94 in Command line utilities

Download history 134/week @ 2024-03-10 245/week @ 2024-03-17 5/week @ 2024-03-24 122/week @ 2024-03-31 142/week @ 2024-04-07 8/week @ 2024-04-14 97/week @ 2024-04-21 240/week @ 2024-04-28 123/week @ 2024-05-05 10/week @ 2024-05-12

470 downloads per month

MIT OR Apache-2.0

37K SLoC

zawk: AWK + stdlib + Rust

zawk is a small programming language for writing short programs processing textual data. To a first approximation, it is an implementation of the AWK language; many common Awk programs produce equivalent output when passed to zawk.

You might be interested in zawk if you want your scripts to handle escaped CSV/TSV like standard Awk fields, or if you want your scripts to execute faster, or if you want a standard AWK library to make life easy.

AWK Stdlib


  • CSV/TSV support by frawk
  • High performance
  • gawk compatible
  • A standard library: text, math, datetime, crypto, parser, encode/decode, ID, KV, SQLite/MySQL, Redis/NATS etc.
  • i18n support: length("你好Hello") # 7, substr("你好Hello", 1, 2) # 你好
  • Load awk script from URL

The info subdirectory has more in-depth information on zawk:

  • Overview: what frawk is all about, how it differs from Awk.
  • Types: A quick gloss on frawk's approach to types and type inference.
  • Parallelism: An overview of frawk's parallelism support.
  • Benchmarks: A sense of the relative performance of frawk and other tools when processing large CSV or TSV files.
  • Standard Library: A standard library by zawk, including exciting functions that are new when compared with Awk.
  • FAQ: FAQ about zawk.

zawk/frawk is dual-licensed under MIT or Apache 2.0.


Mac with Homebrew:

$ brew install --no-quarantine linux-china/tap/zawk
$ sudo xattr -r -d com.apple.quarantine $(readlink -f $(brew --prefix zawk))/bin/zawk

or install by cargo:

$ cargo install zawk

Note: zawk uses some nightly-only Rust features. Build without the unstable feature to build on stable.

You will need to install Rust. If you have not updated rust in a while, run rustup update nightly (or rustup update if building using stable). If you would like to use the LLVM backend, you will need an installation of LLVM 15 on your machine:

  • See this site for installation instructions on some debian-based Linux distros. See also the comments on this issue for docker files that can be used to build a binary on Ubuntu.
  • On Arch pacman -Sy llvm llvm-libs and a C compiler (e.g. clang) are sufficient as of September 2022.
  • brew install llvm@15 or similar seem to work on macOS.

Depending on where your package manager puts these libraries, you may need to point LLVM_SYS_150_PREFIX at the llvm library installation (e.g. /usr/lib/llvm-15 on Linux or /opt/homebrew/opt/llvm@15 on macOS when installing llvm@15 via Homebrew).

Attention: Compare to Cranelift, binary with LLVM is bigger(almost 32M vs 8.5M).

Building Without LLVM

While the LLVM backend is recommended, it is possible to build frawk only with support for the Cranelift-based JIT and its bytecode interpreter. To do this, build without the llvm_backend feature. The Cranelift backend provides comparable performance to LLVM for smaller scripts, but LLVM's optimizations can sometimes deliver a substantial performance boost over Cranelift (see the benchmarks document for some examples of this).

Building Using Stable

frawk currently requires a nightly compiler by default. To compile frawk using stable, compile without the unstable feature. Using rustup default nightly, or some other method to run a nightly compiler release is otherwise required to build frawk.

Building a Binary

With those prerequisites, cloning this repository and a cargo build --release or cargo [+nightly] install --path <zawk repo path> will produce a binary that you can add to your PATH if you so choose:

$ cd <zawk repo path>
# Without LLVM
$ cargo +nightly install --path .
# With LLVM, but with other recommended defaults
$ cargo +nightly install --path . --no-default-features --features use_jemalloc,llvm_backend,allow_avx2,unstable

zawk is now on crates.io, so running cargo install zawk with the desired features should also work.

Bugs and Feature Requests

frawk has bugs, and many rough edges. If you notice a bug in frawk, filing an issue with an explanation of how to reproduce the error would be very helpful. There are no guarantees on response time or latency for a fix. No one works on frawk full-time. The same policy holds for feature requests.


Thanks to Eli Rosenthal's frawk. zawk is based on frawk. Without frawk, there would be no zawk.


~2M SLoC