cat -- concatenate and display files


cat [ -u ] [ -s ] [ -v ] [ -t ] [ -e ] [ file ... ]


cat reads each file in sequence and writes it on the standard output. If no input file is given, or if a single dash (-) is given, cat reads from the standard input. The options are:

Suppresses warnings about nonexistent files.

Causes the output to be unbuffered.

Causes non-printing characters (with the exception of tabs, newlines, and form feeds) to be displayed. Control characters are displayed as ^X (<Ctrl>x), where X is the key pressed with the <Ctrl> key (for example, <Ctrl>m is displayed as ^M). The <Del> character (octal 0177) is printed as ^?. Non-ASCII characters (with the high bit set) are printed as M -x, where x is the character specified by the seven low order bits.

Causes tabs to be printed as ^I and form feeds as ^L. This option is ignored if the -v option is not specified.

Causes a ``$'' character to be printed at the end of each line (prior to the new-line). This option is ignored if the -v option is not set.

Exit values

cat returns the following values:

all input files were output successfully

an error occurred


The following example displays file on the standard output:

cat file

The following example concatenates file1 and file2 and places the result in file3:

cat file1 file2 >file3

The following example concatenates file1 and appends it to file2:

cat file1 >> file2


Command lines such as:

cat file1 file2 > file1

will cause the original data in file1 to be lost; therefore, you must be careful when using special shell characters.

See also

cp(C), pr(C)

Standards conformance

cat is conformant with:

ISO/IEC DIS 9945-2:1992, Information technology - Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX) - Part 2: Shell and Utilities (IEEE Std 1003.2-1992);
AT&T SVID Issue 2;
X/Open CAE Specification, Commands and Utilities, Issue 4, 1992.

© 2003 Caldera International, Inc. All rights reserved.
SCO OpenServer Release 5.0.7 -- 11 February 2003