sort - Unix, Linux Command

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sort - sort lines of text files


sort [OPTION]... [FILE]...


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

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’
-n, --numeric-sort
  compare according to string numerical value
-r, --reverse
  reverse the result of comparisons
Other options:
-c, --check
  check whether input is sorted; do not sort
-k, --key=POS1[,POS2]
  start a key at POS1, end it at POS2 (origin 1)
-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
-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
--help display this help and exit
  output version information and exit
POS is F[.C][OPTS], where F is the field number and C the character position in the field. OPTS is one or more single-letter ordering options, 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 suffixes: % 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 bugs to <>.


Copyright © 2006 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
This is free software. You may redistribute copies of it under the terms of the GNU General Public License <>. There is NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by law.


sort is maintained as a Texinfo manual. If the info and sort programs are properly installed at your site, the command
info sort
should give you access to the complete manual.
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