Need to sort text keeping first line always first

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# 1  
Old 02-28-2014
Need to sort text keeping first line always first

I have a file is created from standard output.

I have put a leading space to force the first line to collate low vis a vis the rest of the lines.

If I pass the entire file to the Linux sort, it ignores the leading space and the first line appears in somewhere in the list.

If I add lots of leading spaces, it does not help.

I was thinking of putting leading !!!, which collates lower than the alphabet, and then running sed thereafter to eliminate the !!!.

Is that the best way or are there better ways?
# 2  
Old 03-01-2014
Without knowing more about your data and the sort keys you're using to sort the data, it is hard to make suggestions about what might be the best way.
# 3  
Old 03-01-2014

might be non-ASCII.
LC_ALL=C sort ...

LC_COLLATE=C sort ...

# 4  
Old 03-01-2014
There was some version of "gnu sort" with a bug of '-b' option was enabled by default.
If you can not do otherwise than change your line with '!!!' , maybe this example will help you:
File example:
$ cat file
cat big 24
cat small   13
cat red 63
dog big 34
chicken plays   39
fish    red 294

The command that sort file without first line:
$ (head -1 file;sort <(sed -n '2,$p' file)) >file2

$ cat file2
cat big 24
cat red 63
cat small   13
chicken plays   39
dog big 34
fish    red 294

# 5  
Old 03-01-2014
The first line of the file is a header, containing..

I have a file consisting of fixed columns
title showing from where the file originates
lines containing
progname|date|sha1 checksum|path

I want to sort by progname but to keep the top line.
The top line had
!!!Date=yymmdd, ...system = ssssssssss

I have tried to set very low print values in the leading columns of the title, but that did not work (Fedora Linux 20). I am not sure that -b -d or -g works for the sort. (I could not detect differences).
I would just want a binary sort over the first 33 characters of the file. sort -k will limit the sort to those columns but it ignored the !!! and therefore the line with date=yyyy
appeared in line.

I can upload a small sample unsorted file, if that helps.

Last edited by Scrutinizer; 03-01-2014 at 11:32 AM.. Reason: code tags
# 6  
Old 03-01-2014
Perhaps it would be easiest to just exclude the first line from sorting, for example:
{ IFS= read -r line; printf "%s\n" "$line"; sort;} < file > file.sorted

Just saw disedorgue posted something similar. This could be an alternative then. Just add sort options ad libitum..

Last edited by Scrutinizer; 03-01-2014 at 02:02 PM..
# 7  
Old 03-01-2014
Try just having your first line in your input file have a <space> as the 1st character on the line and sort with the command:
sort -t '|'

Specifying a non-space field separator should make the leading space significant.

If you don't want a visible space at the start of the first line, make the first two characters in the file be a <space> character followed a <backspace> character.
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