Manual Reference Pages  - HEAD (P)

PROLOG

This manual page is part of the POSIX Programmer’s Manual. The Linux implementation of this interface may differ (consult the corresponding Linux manual page for details of Linux behavior), or the interface may not be implemented on Linux.

CONTENTS

Name
Synopsis
Description
Options
Operands
Stdin
Input Files
Environment Variables
Asynchronous Events
Stdout
Stderr
Output Files
Extended Description
Exit Status
Consequences Of Errors
Application Usage
Examples
Rationale
Future Directions
See Also
Copyright

NAME

head - copy the first part of files

SYNOPSIS

head [-n number][file...]

DESCRIPTION

The head utility shall copy its input files to the standard output, ending the output for each file at a designated point.

Copying shall end at the point in each input file indicated by the -n number option. The option-argument number shall be counted in units of lines.

OPTIONS

The head utility shall conform to the Base Definitions volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, Section 12.2, Utility Syntax Guidelines.

The following option shall be supported:
-n number
  The first number lines of each input file shall be copied to standard output. The application shall ensure that the number option-argument is a positive decimal integer.

When a file contains less than number lines, it shall be copied to standard output in its entirety. This shall not be an error.

If no options are specified, head shall act as if -n 10 had been specified.

OPERANDS

The following operand shall be supported:
file A pathname of an input file. If no file operands are specified, the standard input shall be used.

STDIN

The standard input shall be used only if no file operands are specified. See the INPUT FILES section.

INPUT FILES

Input files shall be text files, but the line length is not restricted to {LINE_MAX} bytes.

ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES

The following environment variables shall affect the execution of head:
LANG Provide a default value for the internationalization variables that are unset or null. (See the Base Definitions volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001, Section 8.2, Internationalization Variables for the precedence of internationalization variables used to determine the values of locale categories.)
LC_ALL If set to a non-empty string value, override the values of all the other internationalization variables.
LC_CTYPE
  Determine the locale for the interpretation of sequences of bytes of text data as characters (for example, single-byte as opposed to multi-byte characters in arguments and input files).
LC_MESSAGES
  Determine the locale that should be used to affect the format and contents of diagnostic messages written to standard error.
NLSPATH Determine the location of message catalogs for the processing of LC_MESSAGES .

ASYNCHRONOUS EVENTS

Default.

STDOUT

The standard output shall contain designated portions of the input files.

If multiple file operands are specified, head shall precede the output for each with the header:

"\n==> %s <==\n", <pathname>

except that the first header written shall not include the initial <newline>.

STDERR

The standard error shall be used only for diagnostic messages.

OUTPUT FILES

None.

EXTENDED DESCRIPTION

None.

EXIT STATUS

The following exit values shall be returned:
0 Successful completion.
>0 An error occurred.

CONSEQUENCES OF ERRORS

Default.

The following sections are informative.

APPLICATION USAGE

The obsolescent - number form is withdrawn in this version. Applications should use the -n number option.

EXAMPLES

To write the first ten lines of all files (except those with a leading period) in the directory:

head *

RATIONALE

Although it is possible to simulate head with sed 10q for a single file, the standard developers decided that the popularity of head on historical BSD systems warranted its inclusion alongside tail.

This standard version of head follows the Utility Syntax Guidelines. The -n option was added to this new interface so that head and tail would be more logically related.

There is no -c option (as there is in tail) because it is not historical practice and because other utilities in this volume of IEEE Std 1003.1-2001 provide similar functionality.

FUTURE DIRECTIONS

None.

SEE ALSO

sed , tail

COPYRIGHT

Portions of this text are reprinted and reproduced in electronic form from IEEE Std 1003.1, 2003 Edition, Standard for Information Technology -- Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX), The Open Group Base Specifications Issue 6, Copyright (C) 2001-2003 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc and The Open Group. In the event of any discrepancy between this version and the original IEEE and The Open Group Standard, the original IEEE and The Open Group Standard is the referee document. The original Standard can be obtained online at http://www.opengroup.org/unix/online.html .


IEEE/The Open Group HEAD (P) 2003
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