cat - concatenate, copy, and print files
cat [-benrstuv] file ...
cat reads each file in sequence and writes it on the standard output.
prints file on the default standard output device;
cat file1 file2 >>>> file3
concatenates file1 and file2, and places the result in file3.
If - is appears as a file argument, cat uses standard input. To
combine standard input and other files, use a combination of - and
cat recognizes the following options:
-b Omit line numbers from blank lines when -n option is
specified. If this option is specified, the -n option is
-e Print a $ character at the end of each line (prior to the
new-line). If this option is specified, the -v option is
-n Display output lines preceded by line numbers, numbered
sequentially from 1.
-r Replace multiple consecutive empty lines with one empty
line, so that there is never more than one empty line
between lines containing characters.
-s Silent option. cat suppresses error messages about non-
existent files, identical input and output, and write
errors. Normally, input and output files cannot have
identical names unless the file is a special file.
-t Print each tab character as ^I and form feed character as
^L. If this option is specified, the -v option is
-u Do not buffer output (handle character-by-character).
Normally, output is buffered.
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-v Cause non-printing characters (with the exception of tabs,
new-lines and form-feeds) to be printed visibly. Control
characters are printed using the form ^X (Ctrl-X), and the
DEL character (octal 0177) is printed as ^? (see ascii(5)).
Single-byte control characters whose most significant bit is
set, are printed using the form M-^x, where x is the
character specified by the seven low order bits. All other
non-printing characters are printed as M-x, where x is the
character specified by the seven low order bits. This
option is influenced by the LC_CTYPE environment variable
and its corresponding code set.
LANG provides a default value for the internationalization variables
that are unset or null. If LANG is unset or null, the default value of
"C" (see lang(5)) is used. If any of the internationalization
variables contains an invalid setting, cat will behave as if all
internationalization variables are set to "C". See environ(5).
LC_ALL If set to a non-empty string value, overrides the values of all
the other internationalization variables.
LC_CTYPE determines the interpretation of text as single and/or
multi-byte characters, the classification of characters as printable,
and the characters matched by character class expressions in regular
LC_MESSAGES determines the locale that should be used to affect the
format and contents of diagnostic messages written to standard error
and informative messages written to standard output.
NLSPATH determines the location of message catalogues for the
processing of LC_MESSAGES.
International Code Set Support
Single- and multi-byte character code sets are supported.
Exit values are:
0 Successful completion.
>>>>0 Error condition occurred.
To create a zero-length file, use any of the following:
cat /dev/null >>>> file
cp /dev/null file
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The following prints ^I for all the occurrences of tab character in
cat -t file1
To suppress error messages about files that do not exist, use:
cat -s file1 file2 file3 >>>> file
If file2 does not exist, the above command concatenates file1 and
file3 without reporting the error on file2. The result is the same if
-s option is not used, except that cat displays the error message.
To view non-printable characters in file2, use:
cat -v file2
Command formats such as
cat file1 file2 >>>> file1
overwrites the data in file1 before the concatenation begins, thus
destroying the file. Therefore, be careful when using shell special
cp(1), more(1), pg(1), pr(1), rmnl(1), ssp(1).
cat: SVID2, SVID3, XPG2, XPG3, XPG4, POSIX.2
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