Talk:Cat (Unix)

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copy commands[edit]

Unix/*nix programs (Also sometimes used in Windows versions)
  • cp -- copy files; can concatenate files
  • cpio -- copy an entire directory structure from one place to another
  • cat -- concatenate and display files
  • dd -- copy streams, files, or devices in whole or part
  • head -- display/copy the first part of a file
  • tail -- display/copy the last part of a file


DOS/Windows programs (Seldom used in *nix versions)
  • COPY -- copy files or sets of files, binary or text mode, can concatenate files
  • XCOPY -- eXtended version of COPY, for copying file structures
  • XXCOPY -- further extended commercial program
  • ROBOCOPY -- further extended version, included in Vista


Other specialized programs are used to split large files into pieces and then put the pieces back together.

There are no good standard programs to extract an arbitrary piece of a file into another file. dd can be used, but requires setting blocksize to 1, which is very inefficient. In Windows, the obscure program CPART can be used.

grep and awk are powerful *nix programs for looking for patterns in a file.

00:30, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Seeking[edit]

I think that most people likely to use Linux or UNIX by the terminal understand the implications of a command being able to seek in a file. This implies that the command is able to go back and forth through the file, and possibly read from it multiple times, which could allow optimization. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 107.77.164.39 (talk) 17:12, 17 June 2016 (UTC)

UTF-8 BOM handling[edit]

It is not clear if cat command can concatenates texts files starting with UTF-8 Byte order Mark (BOM). Does such an option exist? Or is cat not suitable for text file processing? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.75.236.140 (talk) 10:48, 30 June 2012 (UTC)