Man1 - sort.1

Table of Contents


sort - sort lines of text files


sort [/OPTION/]… [/FILE/]…
sort [/OPTION/]… –files0-from=F


Write sorted concatenation of all FILE(s) to standard output.

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

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
shuffle, but group identical keys. See shuf(1)
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, version -V
-V, –version-sort
natural sort of (version) numbers within text

Other options:

merge at most NMERGE inputs at once; for more use temp files
-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 standard 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
-u, –unique
with -c, check for strict ordering; without -c, output only the first of an equal run
-z, –zero-terminated
line delimiter is NUL, not newline
display this help and exit
output version information and exit

KEYDEF is F[.C][OPTS][,F[.C][OPTS]] for start and stop position, 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 single-letter ordering options [bdfgiMhnRrV], which override global ordering options for that key. If no key is given, use the entire line as the key. Use –debug to diagnose incorrect key usage.

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

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.


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Copyright © 2021 Free Software Foundation, Inc. License GPLv3+: GNU GPL version 3 or later
This is free software: you are free to change and redistribute it. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.


shuf(1), uniq(1)

Full documentation
or available locally via: info ’(coreutils) sort invocation’

Author: dt

Created: 2022-02-22 Tue 16:31