Manual Reference Pages  - SORT (1)


sort - sort lines of text files




sort [OPTION]... [FILE]...
sort [OPTION]... --files0-from=F


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’
-h, --human-numeric-sort
  compare human readable numbers (e.g., 2K 1G)
-n, --numeric-sort
  compare according to string numerical value
-R, --random-sort
  sort by random hash of keys
  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
--debug 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=POS1[,POS2]
  start a key at POS1 (origin 1), end it at POS2 (default end of line). See POS syntax below
-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
  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; both are origin 1. 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, 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 sort bugs to
GNU coreutils home page: <>
General help using GNU software: <>
Report sort translation bugs to <>


Copyright © 2011 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.


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

GNU coreutils 8.12.197-032bb SORT (1) September 2011
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