• One of the most necessary commands in Linux is the Cat command, which comes pre-installed
  • It is in charge of managing files and allowing the user to carry out tasks
  • What is the explanation of this command and what examples do we have Linux Terminal?

We have talked about Linux numerous times in the past, and it is an environment that especially those with more knowledge prefer over the classics. If you are among them, We teach you how to use the Cat command in Linux with several practical examples, so take the opportunity to increase your knowledge of this operating system. You will see that mastering one of its key functions is not difficult at all with some time.

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The fact is that if you have a computer with Linux and not with MacOS and/or Windows, you will know that many operations differ completely if we compare them, and the first thing that will catch your attention is the graphical user interface that uses command lines for many of the necessary actions. The CLI or command line interface should be among the first things you learn about this open source operating system in order to use it.

Clarified this, one of the most necessary commands in Linux is the Cat commandwhich is pre-installed within the Coreutils -or GNU Core Utilities- package in all distributions of this operating system, and the good news has to do with the fact that the syntax is the same for all distributions, so it will not require further adaptation.

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Explanation of the Car command

Before looking at the examples, it is important to understand what the cat command is along with its syntax and options. Later we can show you how to run it on a day-to-day basis to perform some essential tasks.

The cat command stands for concatenate and is one of the most relevant commands in the Linux user toolbox. First it was made for the UNIX operating system, but later it was adapted to Linux and MacOS, being its main objective file management and allowing the user to perform tasks such as new files, view file content, overwrite files, merge two or more files, etc..

The syntax is easy and direct, the following:

cat <options> <file_name(s)>

Here are some of the common options with this command:

Options Description
-n Show line numbers for all lines
-T Show all file tab characters
-e Show the end of each line in the file
-s Combine successive empty lines at the end of the file as one
-b Show only non-empty lines

Examples of Cat commands in the Linux Terminal

View a single file

The most frequent use of the Cat command is to view a single file, in which case the syntax is as follows:

cat <option> <file_name>

view multiple files

By adding the names of the files one after the other, separating them with spaces and without commas, you can see several:

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cat <option> <file_1> <file_2> <file_3>

show line numbers

By default, the Cat command does not display the line numbers of each file’s content. Whenever you want to see the line numbers, you will have to launch a specific command to display that data:

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cat -n <file_name>

Create a new file with the cat command

Although there are other commands that were specifically designed to create new files, Cat can help us. It cannot replace the other tools, but you will be able to edit the files and add some content to them:

cat > <new_file_name>

The “>” would be the overwrite operator, and is used to overwrite any file with new content. Since the file is completely empty, anything you write will be written to it., of course. When you are done with the process, press Enter and then Ctrl + d to exit the prompt in question.

Merge two files into a new file

Finally, using the syntax below, you can also combine two different files into one. We will use the append operator “>>” to append the contents of the first file to the end of the second:

cat <option> <file_1> >> <file_2>

conclusions

The Cat command greatly simplifies file management for users who are comfortable using the Linux Terminal. With extra options and operations, the Cat command can be a great help in facilitating workflows. In this article, we have shared several practical examples of how the Cat command is typically used to create, add, and view files on the Linux operating system..

If you want to know more about it, do not hesitate to leave us a comment so that we can offer you more information.

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