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SORT(1) 			   BSD 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 command-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 pro-
	     duces 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" ver-
	     sion 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 output.

     -S size, --buffer-size=size
	     Use size for the maximum size of the memory buffer.  Size modifiers
	     %,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 buffer, 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 pro-
	     cessed 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 comparisons.

     -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, which have a much permissive format than those 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 positive); 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 dec-
	     imal point and possible thousand 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 implemented 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 specified by
	     --random-source.  Even if multiple sort fields are specified, 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 VER-
	     SION SUFFIX, where SUFFIX matches the regular expression "(.([A-Za-z~][A-Za-
	     z0-9~]*)?)*".  The files are compared 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 argument 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 subsequent 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 signifi-
	     cant (for example, ``charchar'' delimits an empty field).	If -t is not specified,
	     the default field separator is a sequence of blank space characters, and consecutive
	     blank spaces do not delimit an empty field, however, the initial blank space is con-
	     sidered part of a field when determining key offsets.  To use NUL as field separa-
	     tor, 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 function and will produce the same result if the input is also
	     identical.  By default, file /dev/random is used.

     --debug
	     Print some extra information about the sorting process to the standard output.

     --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 standard 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 specified 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', indicat-
     ing 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 sub-
     sequent field.

     A field2 position specified by m.n is interpreted as the nth character (including separa-
     tors) 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 classification of characters,
		 that is, which characters are considered whitespaces, etc.

     LC_MESSAGES
		 Locale settings that determine the language of output messages 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 settings.  This environ-
		 ment 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 variable, nor LC_ALL are set.

     NLSPATH	 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 thousand 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 compati-
     bility 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 sup-
     ported 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 avail-
     able 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 slow-
     est but the correct collation order is always respected.  As for the key specification, the
     simpler to process the lines the faster the search will be.

     When sorting by arithmetic value, using -n results in much better performance than -g so its
     use is encouraged whenever possible.

BSD					   July 3, 2012 				      BSD
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