Linux Cat Command With Examples

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Concatenate or simply cat is very useful command in Linux and Unix systems. Cat have the ability to create files, concatenate files or redirect output. In this tutorial we will look different useful examples for daily usage for system administrators.

Syntax

Syntax of Linux cat command is standard like most of the Linux tools.

Man and Help

Man page can be get like below.

Man and Help

Man and Help

Print Content

The most popular way to use cat command is printing contents of a file.

Print Content

Print Content

Print Content of Multiple Files

cat command accepts multiple parameters as file name to print all contents of provided files.

Create File

An empty file will be created when cat output is directed to the file name like below. After redirect  control character should be send to close file.

And then

Create File

Create File

Use With More and Less Commands

While working more than one text file with more or less commands cat provides practical solution to pipe all files contents.

Display Line Numbers

While printing file contents with cat the line numbers can be shown to direct line specification.

Display Line Numbers

Display Line Numbers

Display $ End Of  Line

Cat provides $ as end of line separator.

Display $ End Of Line

Display $ End Of Line

Display Tab Separated Lines

There is also an option to separatetabbed lines with -T parameter like below.

LEARN MORE  Linux fsck Command Tutorial With Examples

Display Tab Separated Lines

Display Tab Separated Lines

Here ^I is used to show tabs

Redirect With Cat

Redirect will used to provide standard output content to the next command standard input. Cat prints files content and following file will get content of the previous file.

Keep in mind this operation will overwrite all yourshell.sh content with new content

Append To File With Cat

While redirecting outputs previous content will be overwrited. to prevent overwrite and add new content to the existing content >> operator can be used.

Redirect Standard Input

Another useful usage of cat command is redirecting standartd input. Generally the content of a file is the standard input.

Redirect Standard Input

Redirect Standard Input

Concatenate Multiple File Into One File

One of the most funny usage of cat command is adding multiple files into single file with a single shot.

Concatenate Multiple File Into One File

Concatenate Multiple File Into One File

Use With Sort

Using cat with sort command is an other useful scenario. All content of files are piped to the sort and sort will sort all content accordingly.

Use With Sort

Use With Sort

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