I have a series piped greps, awks and seds which produce a list of numbers, one on each line. Something like this:


How can i pipe this to something which will output the average, max, and min?

  • If you're piping grep, awk and sed together, the same thing can often be done in one invocation of awk. Feb 23, 2011 at 23:54

5 Answers 5


Since you're already using awk

blahblahblah | awk '{if(min==""){min=max=$1}; if($1>max) {max=$1}; if($1<min) {min=$1}; total+=$1; count+=1} END {print total/count, max, min}'
  • Nice, it works for me!
    – JavaRocky
    Feb 23, 2011 at 23:44
  • I thought there would of been already a binary which accepts a list of numbers and the count, avg, min, max for you, kind of like using 'time'.
    – JavaRocky
    Feb 23, 2011 at 23:45
  • 1
    I would just put the above awk pattern in /usr/local/bin/stats or such, and then use it as blabla | stats.
    – Asclepius
    Aug 29, 2013 at 20:11

I find this program useful for generating stats on lists of numbers at the command line: http://web.cs.wpi.edu/~claypool/misc/stats/stats.html


There is also simple-r, which can do almost everything that R can, but with less keystrokes:


To calculate average, max, and min, one would have to type one of:

r summary file.txt
r summary - < file.txt
cat file.txt | r summary -

With a tip of the hat to @DerfK:

perl -lane '$n=$F[0]; if(not defined $min){$min=$max=$n}; if($n>$max){$max=$n}; if($n<$min){$min=$n}; $total+=$n; $count+=1; END{print $total/$count." $max $min"}'

$F[0] is the value in the first (0'th) field of each line

If your input data is comma separated, add the -F, modifier before -lane


You can use ministat:

$ ministat -n

x <stdin>
    N           Min           Max        Median           Avg        Stddev
x   3          1.13          3.59          1.23     1.9833333     1.3923122

And with tail, sed and cut you can extract a single field, e.g. ministat -n | tail -1 | sed -r 's/ +/ /g;' | cut -d\ -f 6 gives you the average (since it: takes the last line; removes extra spaces; then takes the sixth non-space token on the line).

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