Search all pages
Professions, Sciences, Humanities, Business, ...
Text-based, GUI, Audio, Video, Keyboards, Mouse, Images,...
Conversions, tests, processing, manipulation,...
Integer, Floating point, Matrix, Statistics, Boolean, ...
Algorithms, Memory, Process control, Debugging, ...
Data storage, Integrity, Encryption, Compression, ...
Networks, protocols, Interprocess, Remote, Client Server, ...
Timing, Calendar and Clock, Audio, Video, Printer, Controls...
Management, Filtering, File & Directory access, Viewers, ...
RocketLink!--> Man page versions:
SORT(1) OpenBSD Reference Manual SORT(1)
sort - sort or merge text files
sort [-cmubdfinrH] [-t char] [-R char] [-k field1[,field2]] ... [-T dir]
[-o output] [file] ...
The sort utility sorts text files by lines. Comparisons are based on one
or more sort keys extracted from each line of input, and are performed
lexicographically. By default, if keys are not given, sort regards each
input line as a single field.
The following options are available:
-c Check that the single input file is sorted. If the file is not
sorted, sort produces the appropriate error messages and exits with
code 1; otherwise, sort returns 0. sort -c produces no output.
-m Merge only; the input files are assumed to be pre-sorted.
The argument given is the name of an output file to be used instead
of the standard output. This file can be the same as one of the
Use dir as the directory for temporary files. The default is the
contents of the environment variable TMPDIR or /var/tmp if TMPDIR
does not exist.
-u Unique: suppress all but one in each set of lines having equal
keys. If used with the -c option, check that there are no lines
with duplicate keys.
The following options override the default ordering rules. When ordering
options appear independent of key field specifications, the requested
field ordering rules are applied globally to all sort keys. When at-
tached to a specific key (see -k), the ordering options override all
global ordering options for that key.
-d Only blank space and alphanumeric characters are used in making
-f Considers all lowercase characters that have uppercase equiva-
lents to be the same for purposes of comparison.
-i Ignore all non-printable characters.
-n An initial numeric string, consisting of optional blank space,
optional minus sign, and zero or more digits (including decimal
point) is sorted by arithmetic value. (The -n option no longer
implies the -b option.)
-r Reverse the sense of comparisons.
-H Use a merge sort instead of a radix sort. This option should be
used for files larger than 60Mb.
The treatment of field separators can be altered using these options:
-b Ignores leading blank space when determining the start and end of
a restricted sort key. A -b option specified before the first -k
option applies globally to all -k options. Otherwise, the -b op-
tion can be attached independently to each field argument of the
-k option (see below). Note that the -b option has no effect un-
less key fields are specified.
char is used as the field separator character. The initial char
is not considered to be part of a field when determining key off-
sets (see below). Each occurrence of char is significant (for
example, ``charchar'' delimits an empty field). If -t is not
specified, blank space characters are used as default field sepa-
char is used as the record separator character. This should be
used with discretion; -R <alphanumeric> usually produces undesir-
able results. The default record separator is newline.
Designates the starting position, field1, and optional ending po-
sition, field2, of a key field. The -k option replaces the obso-
lescent options +pos1 and -pos2.
The following operands are available:
file The pathname of a file to be sorted, merged, or checked. If no
file operands are specified, or if a file operand is -, the stan-
dard input is used.
A field is defined as a minimal sequence of characters followed by a
field separator or a newline character. By default, the first blank
space of a sequence of blank spaces acts as the field separator. All
blank spaces in a sequence of blank spaces are considered as part of the
next field; for example, all blank spaces at the beginning of a line are
considered to be part of the first field.
Fields are specified by the -k field1[,field2] argument. A missing field2
argument defaults to the end of a line.
The arguments field1 and field2 have the form m.n followed by one or more
of the options -b, -d, -f, -i, -n, -r. A field1 position specified by m.n
(m,n > 0) is interpreted as the nth character in the mth field. A miss-
ing .n in field1 means `.1', indicating the first character of the mth
field; if the -b option is in effect, n is counted from the first non-
blank character in the mth field; m.1b refers to the first non-blank
character in the mth field.
A field2 position specified by m.n is interpreted as the nth character
(including separators) of the mth field. A missing .n indicates the last
character of the mth field; m = 0 designates the end of a line. Thus the
option -k v.x,w.y is synonymous with the obsolescent option +v-1.x-1
-w-1.y; when y is omitted, -k v.x,w is synonymous with +v-1.x-1 -w+1.0.
The obsolescent +pos1 -pos2 option is still supported, except for -w.0b,
which has no -k equivalent.
If the following environment variable exists, it is utilized by sort:
TMPDIR Path in which to store temporary files. Note that TMPDIR may
be overridden by the -T option.
/var/tmp/sort.* default temporary directories
output#PID temporary name for output if output al-
comm(1), join(1), uniq(1)
sort exits with one of the following values:
0 Normal behavior.
1 On disorder (or non-uniqueness) with the -c option.
2 An error occurred.
Lines longer than 65522 characters are discarded and processing contin-
ues. To sort files larger than 60Mb, use sort -H; files larger than
704Mb must be sorted in smaller pieces, then merged. To protect data
sort -o calls link and unlink, and thus fails in protected directories.
A sort command appeared in Version 6 AT&T UNIX.
The current sort command uses lexicographic radix sorting, which requires
that sort keys be kept in memory (as opposed to previous versions which
used quick and merge sorts and did not). Thus performance depends highly
on efficient choice of sort keys, and the -b option and the field2 argu-
ment of the -k option should be used whenever possible. Similarly, sort
-k1f is equivalent to sort -f and may take twice as long.
OpenBSD 2.6 June 6, 1993 3
Source: OpenBSD 2.6 man pages. Copyright: Portions are copyrighted by BERKELEY
SOFTWARE DESIGN, INC., The Regents of the University of California, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Free Software Foundation, FreeBSD Inc., and others.
(Corrections, notes, and links courtesy of RocketAware.com)
GNU Sources for sort(1) (at FreeBSD cvsweb)
GNU sources for sort(1) (at OpenBSD cvsweb)
OpenBSD sources for sort(1)
Up to: Sorting Algorithms
RocketLink!--> Man page versions:
Search | About | Comments | Submit Path: RocketAware >
RocketAware.com is a service of Mib Software
Copyright 1999, Forrest J. Cavalier III. All Rights Reserved.
We welcome submissions and comments