LINUX CLASSES - DATA MANIPULATION
Heads or Tails?
The head command displays the first few lines at the top of a file. It can be useful when you want a quick peek at a large file, as an
alternative to opening the file with a text editor. By default, head will show the first ten lines of a file, but you can also tell it how
many lines to display. Here are a couple of examples:
head some.file Show first ten lines of
head -5 some.file Show first five lines of some.file.
The tail Command
The tail command displays the last few lines of a file. Like head, it can save you time, because it's a lot quicker than calling up a
file with a text editor and scrolling all the way down to the bottom. By default, tail will show the last ten lines of a file, but you can
also tell it how many lines to display:
tail some.file Show last ten lines of s
tail -3 some.file Show last three lines of some.file.
Here's a practical example of how to use the tail command. Many Linux programs put diagnostic messages in the
/var/syslog/messages file when they run, so this file can get pretty large after a while. To see if your most recent
command issued any messages, look at the tail end of this file by entering the tail /var/syslog/messages command.
For more information on the head command, see the
For more information on the tail command, see the
Previous Lesson: Slicing & Dicing
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Comments - most recent first
(Please feel free to answer questions posted by others!)
(08 Apr 2013, 17:49
How would I get a shell script
$./ShellScriptName filename first-line last-line
How would I make this work for example:
./ShellScriptName filename 5 10 - will output lines 5 through 10 of the
(29 Oct 2012, 23:08
Thanks in advance and good luck, lowfatlinux.com ! :) good luck
(14 Oct 2012, 00:21
If you do an "ls" in /etc, what is the 100th filename from the END?
(05 Sep 2012, 07:03
I found this post earlier today while in the office Very useful Sent the
link to myself and will most likely bookmark lowfatlinux.com when I make it
(04 Sep 2012, 19:42
Very informative post. Thanks lowfatlinux.com for taking the time to share
your view with us.
(18 Jan 2012, 00:49
tail mostly used to check logs in log table
(29 Nov 2011, 05:28
Let's say that I have a .dat file with a few entries such as
I am trying to use tail to grab the last line of the customerinfo.dat file
for the highest CustomerID and set a varible for that CustomerID number.
Basically, I need to see if customerinfo.dat exists. If the file exists,
then search the file for the last customerID, add 1 to that number to start
creating a new customer. If that customerinfo.dat file does not exist,
then it will set the CustomerID field to 1. Any help? I am a real newb to
(07 Nov 2011, 08:41
To show the 1st 50 lines just use head -50 <filename>.This is a great
(05 Nov 2011, 01:03
can we display the last 50 lines by using tail command???
(20 Apr 2011, 11:51
We just upgraded from OS 3 to OS 5. Not sure if that is my problem or not.
I have a script that displays the "head" of a file. I get lots of extra
characters. This is first line: backupbanner.good
This displays correctly using the more command. Using head or cat it
displays backupbanner.good100666 000350 000001 00000001031 and a lot more
(27 Mar 2011, 18:46
mine Sony Ericsson W700i..
(26 Dec 2010, 03:11
i want all the bash commands like head, tail etc....plz
(03 Dec 2010, 09:01
I've been reading your tutorial for the past few hours..
Its all short and sweet.. Thanks buddy..
(25 Aug 2010, 14:44
@Abhilash - Thanks! I'll be waiting for you to send your updates. How
soon should I expect the "full info"?
(25 Aug 2010, 01:40
Thanq but u have not given full info about it
(10 Aug 2010, 07:24
how to print 1st 10 lines using telnet command
(03 May 2010, 20:52
how many lines selected in head & tail command
(26 Apr 2010, 22:12
There could be a empty line at the end of the file
(15 Apr 2010, 02:11
When i using the tail command as
tail -1 "file_name". then it not show on the telnet screen. and using the
tail -2 "file_name". then it shows the last line of the file. why it not
show the last line with tail -1 "file_name". please reply.
(10 Apr 2010, 08:19
Thanks a lot, this pages on Linux data manipulation helped me with my
university's exam project.
(02 Apr 2010, 15:40
Okay, let's play a mail game. You send me $1000 through mail, and then
I'll guide you about command!
(01 Apr 2010, 23:29
Guide me about command through mail...
I welcome your comments. However... I am puzzled by many people
who say "Please send me the Linux tutorial." This website *is* your Linux Tutorial! Read everything here, learn
all you can, ask questions if you like. But don't ask me to send what you already have. :-)
NO SPAM! If you post garbage, it will be deleted, and you will be banned.
by Bob Rankin
All rights reserved - Redistribution is allowed only with permission.