man pages section 1: User Commands

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Updated: July 2014

sort (1g)


sort - sort lines of text files


sort [OPTION]... [FILE]...
sort [OPTION]... --files0-from=F


User Commands                                             SORT(1)

     sort - sort lines of text files

     sort [OPTION]... [FILE]...
     sort [OPTION]... --files0-from=F

     Write  sorted  concatenation of all FILE(s) to standard out-

     Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for  short
     options too.  Ordering options:

     -b, --ignore-leading-blanks
          ignore leading blanks

     -d, --dictionary-order
          consider only blanks and alphanumeric characters

     -f, --ignore-case
          fold lower case to upper case characters

     -g, --general-numeric-sort
          compare according to general numerical value

     -i, --ignore-nonprinting
          consider only printable characters

     -M, --month-sort
          compare (unknown) < 'JAN' < ... < 'DEC'

     -h, --human-numeric-sort
          compare human readable numbers (e.g., 2K 1G)

     -n, --numeric-sort
          compare according to string numerical value

     -R, --random-sort
          sort by random hash of keys

          get random bytes from FILE

     -r, --reverse
          reverse the result of comparisons

          sort    according    to   WORD:   general-numeric   -g,
          human-numeric -h, month -M, numeric -n, random -R, ver-
          sion -V

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User Commands                                             SORT(1)

     -V, --version-sort
          natural sort of (version) numbers within text

     Other options:

          merge  at most NMERGE inputs at once; for more use temp

     -c, --check, --check=diagnose-first
          check for sorted input; do not sort

     -C, --check=quiet, --check=silent
          like -c, but do not report first bad line

          compress temporaries with PROG;  decompress  them  with
          PROG -d

          annotate  the  part  of the line used to sort, and warn
          about questionable usage to stderr

          read input from the files specified  by  NUL-terminated
          names  in  file F; If F is - then read names from stan-
          dard input

     -k, --key=KEYDEF
          sort via a key; KEYDEF gives location and type

     -m, --merge
          merge already sorted files; do not sort

     -o, --output=FILE
          write result to FILE instead of standard output

     -s, --stable
          stabilize sort by disabling last-resort comparison

     -S, --buffer-size=SIZE
          use SIZE for main memory buffer

     -t, --field-separator=SEP
          use SEP instead of non-blank to blank transition

     -T, --temporary-directory=DIR
          use DIR for temporaries, not $TMPDIR or /tmp;  multiple
          options specify multiple directories

          change the number of sorts run concurrently to N

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User Commands                                             SORT(1)

     -u, --unique
          with  -c, check for strict ordering; without -c, output
          only the first of an equal run

     -z, --zero-terminated
          end lines with 0 byte, not newline

          display this help and exit

          output version information and exit

     KEYDEF is F[.C][OPTS][,F[.C][OPTS]] for start and stop posi-
     tion,  where  F is a field number and C a character position
     in the field; both are  origin  1,  and  the  stop  position
     defaults  to  the  line's  end.   If neither -t nor -b is in
     effect, characters in a field are counted from the beginning
     of  the  preceding  whitespace.   OPTS  is  one or more sin-
     gle-letter ordering options  [bdfgiMhnRrV],  which  override
     global  ordering  options for that key.  If no key is given,
     use the entire line as the key.

     SIZE may be followed by the  following  multiplicative  suf-
     fixes:  % 1% of memory, b 1, K 1024 (default), and so on for
     M, G, T, P, E, Z, Y.

     With no FILE, or when FILE is -, read standard input.

     *** WARNING *** The  locale  specified  by  the  environment
     affects  sort  order.   Set  LC_ALL=C to get the traditional
     sort order that uses native byte values.

     Written by Mike Haertel and Paul Eggert.

     Report sort bugs to
     GNU coreutils home page:  <
     General  help  using GNU software: <
     Report  sort  translation  bugs  to  <http://translationpro->

     Copyright  (C)  2012 Free Software Foundation, Inc.  License
     GPLv3+:     GNU     GPL     version     3      or      later
     This  is  free  software:  you are free to change and redis-
     tribute it.  There is NO WARRANTY, to the  extent  permitted
     by law.

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User Commands                                             SORT(1)

     See   attributes(5)   for   descriptions  of  the  following

     |Availability   | file/gnu-coreutils |
     |Stability      | Uncommitted        |
     The full documentation for sort is maintained as  a  Texinfo
     manual.    If  the  info  and  sort  programs  are  properly
     installed at your site, the command

          info coreutils 'sort invocation'

     should give you access to the complete manual.

     This  software  was   built   from   source   available   at    The  original
     community       source       was       downloaded       from

     Further  information about this software can be found on the
     open source community  website  at

GNU coreutils 8.16   Last change: March 2012                    4