SORT(1) SORT(1) NAME sort - sort and/or merge files SYNOPSIS sort [ -cmuMbdfinrtx ] [ +pos1 [ -pos2 ] ... ] [ -o output ] [ option ... ] [ file ... ] DESCRIPTION Sort sorts lines of all the files together and writes the result on the standard output. If no input files are named, the standard input is sorted. The default sort key is an entire line. Default ordering is lexicographic by bytes in machine collating sequence. The ordering is affected globally by the following options, one or more of which may appear. -M Compare as months. The first three non-white space characters of the field are folded to lower case and compared so that `jan' precedes `feb', etc. Invalid fields compare low to `jan'. -b Ignore leading white space (spaces and tabs) in field comparisons. -d `Phone directory' order: only letters, digits and white space are significant in comparisons. -f Fold upper case letters onto lower case. -i Ignore characters outside the ASCII range 040-0176 in non-numeric comparisons. -n An initial numeric string, consisting of optional white space, optional minus sign, and zero or more digits with optional decimal point, is sorted by arithmetic value. Option -n implies option -b. -g Numbers, like -n but with optional e-style exponents, are sorted by value. -r Reverse the sense of comparisons. -tx `Tab character' separating fields is x. The notation +pos1 -pos2 restricts a sort key to a field beginning at pos1 and ending just before pos2. Pos1 and pos2 each have the form m.n, optionally followed by one or more of the flags Mbdfginr, where m tells a number of fields to skip from the beginning of the line and n tells a number of SORT(1) SORT(1) characters to skip further. If any flags are present they override all the global ordering options for this key. A missing .n means .0; a missing -pos2 means the end of the line. Under the -tx option, fields are strings separated by x; otherwise fields are non-empty strings separated by white space. White space before a field is part of the field, except under option -b. A b flag may be attached indepen- dently to pos1 and pos2. When there are multiple sort keys, later keys are compared only after all earlier keys compare equal. Lines that oth- erwise compare equal are ordered with all bytes significant. These option arguments are also understood: -c Check that the single input file is sorted according to the ordering rules; give no output unless the file is out of sort. -m Merge; the input files are already sorted. -u Suppress all but one in each set of equal lines. Ignored bytes and bytes outside keys do not par- ticipate in this comparison. -o The next argument is the name of an output file to use instead of the standard output. This file may be the same as one of the inputs. -Tdir Put temporary files in dir rather than in /tmp. -ymem Suggests the use of the specified number of bytes of internal store in hopes of tuning performance; 0 is appropriate for very small files, a missing number for huge ones. -zrecsize Provide for abnormally large records; useful only with -c and -m EXAMPLES `sort -u +0f +0 list' Print in alphabetical order all the unique spellings in a list of words where capitalized words differ from uncapitalized. `sort -t: +1 /adm/users' Print the users file sorted by user name (the second colon-separated field). `sort -umM dates' Print the first instance of each month in an already sorted file. Options -um with just one input file make SORT(1) SORT(1) the choice of a unique representative from a set of equal lines predictable. grep -n '^' input | sort -t: +1f +0n | sed 's/[0-9]*://' A stable sort: input lines that compare equal will come out in their original order. FILES /tmp/stm??? SEE ALSO uniq(1), look(1) DIAGNOSTICS Sort comments and exits with non-null status for various trouble conditions and for disorder discovered under option -c. BUGS Some of the options, e.g. -I and -M, are hopelessly provin- cial. Option -g compares rounded floating binary values. Syntax needs overhauling.