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SORT(1) 	       DragonFly General Commands Manual	       SORT(1)

NAME

sort -- sort or merge records (lines) of text and binary files

SYNOPSIS

sort [-bcCdfghiRMmnrsuVz] [-k field1[,field2]] [-S memsize] [-T dir] [-t char] [-o output] [file ...] sort --help sort --version

DESCRIPTION

The sort utility sorts text and binary files by lines. A line is a record separated from the subsequent record by a newline (default) or NUL '\0' character (-z option). A record can contain any printable or unprintable characters. Comparisons are based on one or more sort keys extracted from each line of input, and are performed lexicographically, according to the current locale's collating rules and the specified com- mand-line options that can tune the actual sorting behavior. By default, if keys are not given, sort uses entire lines for comparison. The command line options are as follows: -c, --check, -C, --check=silent|quiet 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 returns 0. If -C or --check=silent is specified, sort produces no output. This is a "silent" version of -c. -m, --merge Merge only. The input files are assumed to be pre-sorted. If they are not sorted the output order is undefined. -o output, --output=output Print the output to the output file instead of the standard out- put. -S size, --buffer-size=size Use size for the maximum size of the memory buffer. Size modi- fiers %,b,K,M,G,T,P,E,Z,Y can be used. If a memory limit is not explicitly specified, sort takes up to about 90% of available memory. If the file size is too big to fit into the memory buf- fer, the temporary disk files are used to perform the sorting. -T dir, --temporary-directory=dir Store temporary files in the directory dir. The default path is the value of the environment variable TMPDIR or /var/tmp if TMPDIR is not defined. -u, --unique Unique keys. Suppress all lines that have a key that is equal to an already processed one. This option, similarly to -s, implies a stable sort. If used with -c or -C, sort also checks that there are no lines with duplicate keys. -s Stable sort. This option maintains the original record order of records that have and equal key. This is a non-standard feature, but it is widely accepted and used. --version Print the version and silently exits. --help Print the help text and silently exits. The following options override the default ordering rules. When ordering options appear independently of key field specifications, they apply globally to all sort keys. When attached to a specific key (see -k), the ordering options override all global ordering options for the key they are attached to. -b, --ignore-leading-blanks Ignore leading blank characters when comparing lines. -d, --dictionary-order Consider only blank spaces and alphanumeric characters in compar- isons. -f, --ignore-case Convert all lowercase characters to their uppercase equivalent before comparison, that is, perform case-independent sorting. -g, --general-numeric-sort, --sort=general-numeric Sort by general numerical value. As opposed to -n, this option handles general floating points. It has a more permissive format than that allowed by -n but it has a significant performance drawback. -h, --human-numeric-sort, --sort=human-numeric Sort by numerical value, but take into account the SI suffix, if present. Sort first by numeric sign (negative, zero, or posi- tive); then by SI suffix (either empty, or `k' or `K', or one of `MGTPEZY', in that order); and finally by numeric value. The SI suffix must immediately follow the number. For example, '12345K' sorts before '1M', because M is "larger" than K. This sort option is useful for sorting the output of a single invocation of 'df' command with -h or -H options (human-readable). -i, --ignore-nonprinting Ignore all non-printable characters. -M, --month-sort, --sort=month Sort by month abbreviations. Unknown strings are considered smaller than the month names. -n, --numeric-sort, --sort=numeric Sort fields numerically by arithmetic value. Fields are supposed to have optional blanks in the beginning, an optional minus sign, zero or more digits (including decimal point and possible thou- sand separators). -R, --random-sort, --sort=random Sort by a random order. This is a random permutation of the inputs except that the equal keys sort together. It is imple- mented by hashing the input keys and sorting the hash values. The hash function is chosen randomly. The hash function is ran- domized by /dev/random content, or by file content if it is spec- ified by --random-source. Even if multiple sort fields are spec- ified, the same random hash function is used for all of them. -r, --reverse Sort in reverse order. -V, --version-sort Sort version numbers. The input lines are treated as file names in form PREFIX VERSION SUFFIX, where SUFFIX matches the regular expression "(.([A-Za-z~][A-Za-z0-9~]*)?)*". The files are com- pared by their prefixes and versions (leading zeros are ignored in version numbers, see example below). If an input string does not match the pattern, then it is compared using the byte compare function. All string comparisons are performed in C locale, the locale environment setting is ignored. Example: $ ls sort* | sort -V sort-1.022.tgz sort-1.23.tgz sort-1.23.1.tgz sort-1.024.tgz sort-1.024.003. sort-1.024.003.tgz sort-1.024.07.tgz sort-1.024.009.tgz The treatment of field separators can be altered using these options: -b, --ignore-leading-blanks Ignore leading blank space when determining the start and end of a restricted sort key (see -k ). If -b is specified before the first -k option, it applies globally to all key specifications. Otherwise, -b can be attached independently to each field argu- ment of the key specifications. -b. -k field1[,field2], --key=field1[,field2] Define a restricted sort key that has the starting position field1, and optional ending position field2 of a key field. The -k option may be specified multiple times, in which case subse- quent keys are compared when earlier keys compare equal. The -k option replaces the obsolete options *pos1 and -pos2, but the old notation is also supported. -t char, --field-separator=char Use char as a field separator character. The initial char is not considered to be part of a field when determining key offsets. Each occurrence of char is significant (for example, ``charchar'' delimits an empty field). If -t is not specified, the default field separator is a sequence of blank space characters, and con- secutive blank spaces do not delimit an empty field, however, the initial blank space is considered part of a field when determin- ing key offsets. To use NUL as field separator, use -t '\0'. -z, --zero-terminated Use NUL as record separator. By default, records in the files are supposed to be separated by the newline characters. With this option, NUL ('\0') is used as a record separator character. Other options: --batch-size=num Specify maximum number of files that can be opened by sort at once. This option affects behavior when having many input files or using temporary files. The default value is 16. --compress-program=PROGRAM Use PROGRAM to compress temporary files. PROGRAM must compress standard input to standard output, when called without arguments. When called with argument -d it must decompress standard input to standard output. If PROGRAM fails, sort must exit with error. An example of PROGRAM that can be used here is bzip2. --random-source=filename In random sort, the file content is used as the source of the 'seed' data for the hash function choice. Two invocations of random sort with the same seed data will use the same hash func- tion and will produce the same result if the input is also iden- tical. By default, file /dev/random is used. --debug Print some extra information about the sorting process to the standard output. --parallel Set the maximum number of execution threads. Default number equals to the number of CPUs. --files0-from=filename Take the input file list from the file filename. The file names must be separated by NUL (like the output produced by the command "find ... -print0"). --radixsort Try to use radix sort, if the sort specifications allow. The radix sort can only be used for trivial locales (C and POSIX), and it cannot be used for numeric or month sort. Radix sort is very fast and stable. --mergesort Use mergesort. This is a universal algorithm that can always be used, but it is not always the fastest. --qsort Try to use quick sort, if the sort specifications allow. This sort algorithm cannot be used with -u and -s. --heapsort Try to use heap sort, if the sort specifications allow. This sort algorithm cannot be used with -u and -s. --mmap Try to use file memory mapping system call. It may increase speed in some cases. 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 maximal sequence of characters other than the field separator and record separator (newline by default). Initial blank spaces are included in the field unless -b has been specified; the first blank space of a sequence of blank spaces acts as the field separator and is included in the field (unless -t is specified). 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] command-line option. If field2 is missing, the end of the key defaults to the end of the line. The arguments field1 and field2 have the form m.n (m,n > 0) and can be followed by one or more of the modifiers b, d, f, i, n, g, M and r, which correspond to the options discussed above. When b is specified it applies only to field1 or field2 where it is specified while the rest of the modifiers apply to the whole key field regardless if they are speci- fied only with field1 or field2 or both. A field1 position specified by m.n is interpreted as the nth character from the beginning of the mth field. A missing .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. 1.n refers to the nth character from the beginning of the line; if n is greater than the length of the line, the field is taken to be empty. nth positions are always counted from the field beginning, even if the field is shorter than the number of specified positions. Thus, the key can really start from a position in a subsequent field. A field2 position specified by m.n is interpreted as the nth character (including separators) from the beginning 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 obsolete option *v-1.x-1 -w-1.y; when y is omitted, -k v.x,w is synonymous with *v-1.x-1 -w.0. The obsolete +pos1 -pos2 option is still supported, except for -w.0b, which has no -k equivalent.

ENVIRONMENT

LC_COLLATE Locale settings to be used to determine the collation for sorting records. LC_CTYPE Locale settings to be used to case conversion and classifica- tion of characters, that is, which characters are considered whitespaces, etc. LC_MESSAGES Locale settings that determine the language of output mes- sages that sort prints out. LC_NUMERIC Locale settings that determine the number format used in numeric sort. LC_TIME Locale settings that determine the month format used in month sort. LC_ALL Locale settings that override all of the above locale set- tings. This environment variable can be used to set all these settings to the same value at once. LANG Used as a last resort to determine different kinds of locale- specific behavior if neither the respective environment vari- able, nor LC_ALL are set. %%NLS%%.It Ev NLSPATH %%NLS%%Path to NLS catalogs. TMPDIR Path to the directory in which temporary files will be stored. Note that TMPDIR may be overridden by the -T option. GNUSORT_NUMERIC_COMPATIBILITY If defined -t will not override the locale numeric symbols, that is, thousand separators and decimal separators. By default, if we specify -t with the same symbol as the thou- sand separator or decimal point, the symbol will be treated as the field separator. Older behavior was less definite; the symbol was treated as both field separator and numeric separator, simultaneously. This environment variable enables the old behavior.

FILES

/var/tmp/.bsdsort.PID.* Temporary files. /dev/random Default seed file for the random sort.

EXIT STATUS

The sort utility shall exit with one of the following values: 0 Successfully sorted the input files or if used with -c or -C, the input file already met the sorting criteria. 1 On disorder (or non-uniqueness) with the -c or -C options. 2 An error occurred.

SEE ALSO

comm(1), join(1), uniq(1)

STANDARDS

The sort utility is compliant with the IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 (``POSIX.1'') specification. The flags [-ghRMSsTVz] are extensions to the POSIX specification. All long options are extensions to the specification, some of them are provided for compatibility with GNU versions and some of them are own extensions. The old key notations *pos1 and -pos2 come from older versions of sort and are still supported but their use is highly discouraged.

HISTORY

A sort command first appeared in Version 3 AT&T UNIX.

AUTHORS

Gabor Kovesdan <gabor@FreeBSD.org>, Oleg Moskalenko <mom040267@gmail.com>

NOTES

This implementation of sort has no limits on input line length (other than imposed by available memory) or any restrictions on bytes allowed within lines. The performance depends highly on locale settings, efficient choice of sort keys and key complexity. The fastest sort is with locale C, on whole lines, with option -s. In general, locale C is the fastest, then single-byte locales follow and multi-byte locales as the slowest but the correct collation order is always respected. As for the key specifica- tion, the simpler to process the lines the faster the search will be. When sorting by arithmetic value, using -n results in much better perfor- mance than -g so its use is encouraged whenever possible. DragonFly 4.3 March 19 2015 DragonFly 4.3