How to find and match an exact string in a column using AWK?

im having trouble on matching an exact string that i want to find in a file using awk.

I have the file called "sup_groups.txt" that contains:
(the structure is: "group_name:pw:group_id:user1<,user2>…")


now, i want to extract the records that have in the user list the user "adm1" and print the first column (the group name), but you can see that there is a user called "adm12", so when i do this:

awk -F: ‘$4 ~ "adm1" {print $1}’ sup_groups.txt

the output is:


the command of course also prints those records that contain the string "adm12", but i don’t want these lines because i’m interested only on the user "adm1".

So, How can I change this command so that it just prints the lines 1 and 6 (excluding 2 and 5)?

thank you so much and sorry for my bad english

EDIT: thank you for the answers, u gave me inspiration for the solution, i think this might work as well as your solutions but more simplified:

awk -F: ‘$4 ~ "adm,|adm1$|:adm1," {print $1}’ sup_groups.txt

basically im using ORs covering all the cases and excluding the "adm12"
let me know if you think this is correct

>Solution :

1st solution: Using split function of awk. With your shown samples, please try following awk code.

awk -F':' '
' Input_file

Explanation: Adding detailed explanation for above.

awk -F':' '               ##Starting awk program from here setting field separator as : here.
  num=split($4,arr,",")   ##Using split to split 4th field into array arr with delimiter of ,
  for(i=1;i<=num;i++){    ##Running for loop till value of num(total elements of array arr).
    if(arr[i]=="adm1"){   ##Checking condition if arr[i] value is equal to adm1 then do following.
      print               ##printing current line here.
' Input_file              ##Mentioning Input_file name here.

2nd solution: Using regex and conditions in awk.

awk -F':' '$4~/^adm1,/ || $4~/,adm1,/ || $4~/,adm1$/' Input_file

Explanation: Making field separator as : and checking condition if 4th field is either equal to ^adm1,(starting adm1,) OR its equal to ,adm1, OR its equal to ,adm1$(ending with ,adm1) then print that line.

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