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UNIX in a Nutshell: System V Edition

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UNIX Commands
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sort

sort [options] [files]

Sort the lines of the named files, typically in alphabetical order. See also uniq, comm, join.

Options

-b

Ignore leading spaces and tabs.

-c

Check whether files are already sorted, and if so, produce no output.

-d

Sort in dictionary order (ignore punctuation).

-f

"Fold"; ignore uppercase/lowercase differences.

-i

Ignore nonprinting characters (those outside ASCII range 040-176).

-m

Merge sorted input files.

-M

Compare first three characters as months.

-n

Sort in arithmetic order.

-ofile

Put output in file.

-r

Reverse the order of the sort.

-tc

Fields are separated with c (default is any white space).

-u

Identical lines in input file appear only one (unique) time in output.

-ykmem

Adjust the amount of memory (in kilobytes) sort uses. If kmem is not specified, allocate the maximum memory.

-zrecsz

Provide the maximum number of bytes for any one line in the file. This option prevents abnormal termination of sort in certain cases.

+n [-m]

Skip n fields before sorting, and sort up to field position m. If m is missing, sort to end of line. Positions take the form a.b, which means character b of field a. If .b is missing, sort at the first character of the field.

Examples

List files by decreasing number of lines:

wc -l * | sort -r

Alphabetize a list of words, remove duplicates, and print the frequency of each word:

sort -fd wordlist | uniq -c

Sort the password file numerically by the third field (user ID):

sort +2n -t: /etc/passwd


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