Go Premium for a chance to win a PS4. Enter to Win

  • Status: Solved
  • Priority: Medium
  • Security: Public
  • Views: 1410
  • Last Modified:

Using regular expression in vi editor

I am trying to find all three digit numbers in one of my config files:
I am using the vi editor. In the command mode I tried something like this:
/[0-9]{3}, which came back with 'Pattern not found message'
Also tried /%i[0-9]{3} which  gave me the same response as well.
Just cant figure out how to do it.

Please help.
Thanks in advance
2 Solutions
Deepak KosarajuCommented:
I recommend to refer the following links

Use following in your vi for your requirement


Open in new window

you may use


But this will not restrict it to 3 digits only since it will match 3 and more digits unless you have space before or after the numbers
Morne LateganCommented:
You have 4 possible situations:

1) start of line, text followed, 3 digits, text, end of line (aaa123bbb)
2) start of line, text, 3 digits, end of line (aaa123)
3) start of line, 3 digits, text, end of line (123bbb)
4) start of line, 3 digits, end of line (123)

[^0-9]: (not a digit)
\d       : A digit
\{3\}  : repeated 3 times
^        : Start of line
$         : end of line
\|        : OR

To configure each of the 4:

1) [^0-9]\d\{3\}[^0-9] which says not-a-digit, 3 digits, not a digit
2) [^0-9]\d\{3\}$ which says not-a-digit, 3 digits, end of line
3) ^\d\{3\}[^0-9] which says start-of-line, 3 digits, not a digit
4) ^\d\{3\}$ which says start of line, 3 digits, end of line
Then put OR (\|) between then to say "if 1, 2, 3 or 4 is true":


Featured Post

NEW Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows

Backup and recover physical and cloud-based servers and workstations, as well as endpoint devices that belong to remote users. Avoid downtime and data loss quickly and easily for Windows-based physical or public cloud-based workloads!

Tackle projects and never again get stuck behind a technical roadblock.
Join Now