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1 Introduction

GNU AWK (gawk) 5.2, expected in September 2022, introduces a new persistent memory feature that makes AWK scripting easier and sometimes improves performance. The new feature, called “pm-gawk,” can “remember” script-defined variables and functions across executions and can pass variables and functions between unrelated scripts without serializing/parsing text files—all with near-zero fuss. pm-gawk does not require non-volatile memory hardware nor any other exotic infrastructure; it runs on the ordinary conventional computers and operating systems that most of us have been using for decades.

The main gawk documentation1 covers the basics of the new persistence feature. This supplementary manual provides additional detail, tutorial examples, and a peek under the hood of pm-gawk. If you’re familiar with gawk and Unix-like environments, dive straight in:

You can find the latest version of this manual, and also the “director’s cut,” at the web site for the persistent memory allocator used in pm-gawk:

Two publications describe the persistent memory allocator and early experiences with a pm-gawk prototype based on a fork of the official gawk sources:

Feel free to send me questions, suggestions, and experiences:




See   and   man gawk   and   info gawk.

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