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CUT(1P)			   POSIX Programmer's Manual		       CUT(1P)

       This  manual  page is part of the POSIX Programmer's Manual.  The Linux
       implementation of this interface may differ (consult the	 corresponding
       Linux  manual page for details of Linux behavior), or the interface may
       not be implemented on Linux.

       cut — cut out selected fields of each line of a file

       cut −b list [−n] [file...]

       cut −c list [file...]

       cut −f list [−d delim] [−s] [file...]

       The cut utility	shall  cut  out	 bytes	(−b  option),  characters  (−c
       option),	 or  character-delimited  fields (−f option) from each line in
       one or more files, concatenate them, and write them to standard output.

       The cut utility	shall  conform	to  the	 Base  Definitions  volume  of
       POSIX.1‐2008, Section 12.2, Utility Syntax Guidelines.

       The application shall ensure that the option-argument list (see options
       −b, −c, and −f below) is a <comma>-separated list or  <blank>-separated
       list  of positive numbers and ranges. Ranges can be in three forms. The
       first is two positive numbers separated by a <hyphen> (low−high), which
       represents  all	fields from the first number to the second number. The
       second is a positive number preceded by a <hyphen> (−high), which  rep‐
       resents	all  fields from field number 1 to that number. The third is a
       positive number followed by a <hyphen> (low−),  which  represents  that
       number  to  the	last  field,  inclusive.  The  elements in list can be
       repeated, can overlap, and can be  specified  in	 any  order,  but  the
       bytes,  characters, or fields selected shall be written in the order of
       the input data. If an element appears in the selection list  more  than
       once, it shall be written exactly once.

       The following options shall be supported:

       −b list	 Cut  based  on	 a  list of bytes. Each selected byte shall be
		 output unless the −n option is also specified. It  shall  not
		 be an error to select bytes not present in the input line.

       −c list	 Cut  based  on	 a list of characters. Each selected character
		 shall be output. It shall not be an error to  select  charac‐
		 ters not present in the input line.

       −d delim	 Set  the field delimiter to the character delim.  The default
		 is the <tab>.

       −f list	 Cut based on a list of fields, assumed to be separated in the
		 file  by a delimiter character (see −d).  Each selected field
		 shall be output. Output fields shall be separated by a single
		 occurrence  of	 the  field delimiter character. Lines with no
		 field delimiters shall be passed through intact, unless −s is
		 specified.  It	 shall	not  be	 an error to select fields not
		 present in the input line.

       −n	 Do not split characters. When specified with the  −b  option,
		 each element in list of the form low−high (<hyphen>-separated
		 numbers) shall be modified as follows:

		  *  If the byte selected by low is not the first  byte	 of  a
		     character,	 low  shall be decremented to select the first
		     byte of the character originally selected by low.	If the
		     byte  selected  by high is not the last byte of a charac‐
		     ter, high shall be decremented to select the last byte of
		     the  character prior to the character originally selected
		     by high, or zero if there is no prior character.  If  the
		     resulting	range  element	has  high equal to zero or low
		     greater than high, the list element shall be dropped from
		     list for that input line without causing an error.

		 Each  element	in  list  of the form low− shall be treated as
		 above with high set to the number of  bytes  in  the  current
		 line,	not including the terminating <newline>.  Each element
		 in list of the form −high shall be treated as above with  low
		 set to 1. Each element in list of the form num (a single num‐
		 ber) shall be treated as above with low set to num  and  high
		 set to num.

       −s	 Suppress  lines  with no delimiter characters, when used with
		 the −f option. Unless specified,  lines  with	no  delimiters
		 shall be passed through untouched.

       The following operand shall be supported:

       file	 A  pathname  of an input file. If no file operands are speci‐
		 fied, or if a file operand is '−', the standard  input	 shall
		 be used.

       The  standard  input  shall be used only if no file operands are speci‐
       fied, or if a file operand is '−'.  See the INPUT FILES section.

       The input files shall be text files, except that line lengths shall  be

       The following environment variables shall affect the execution of cut:

       LANG	 Provide  a  default  value for the internationalization vari‐
		 ables that are unset or null. (See the Base Definitions  vol‐
		 ume  of POSIX.1‐2008, Section 8.2, Internationalization Vari‐
		 ables for the precedence  of  internationalization  variables
		 used to determine the values of locale categories.)

       LC_ALL	 If  set  to  a non-empty string value, override the values of
		 all the other internationalization variables.

       LC_CTYPE	 Determine the locale for the interpretation of	 sequences  of
		 bytes of text data as characters (for example, single-byte as
		 opposed to  multi-byte	 characters  in	 arguments  and	 input

		 Determine the locale that should be used to affect the format
		 and contents  of  diagnostic  messages	 written  to  standard

       NLSPATH	 Determine the location of message catalogs for the processing


       The cut utility output shall be a concatenation of the selected	bytes,
       characters, or fields (one of the following):

	   "%s\n", <concatenation of bytes>

	   "%s\n", <concatenation of characters>

	   "%s\n", <concatenation of fields and field delimiters>

       The standard error shall be used only for diagnostic messages.



       The following exit values shall be returned:

	0    All input files were output successfully.

       >0    An error occurred.


       The following sections are informative.

       The  cut	 and  fold  utilities  can be used to create text files out of
       files with arbitrary line lengths. The cut utility should be used  when
       the  number  of	lines  (or records) needs to remain constant. The fold
       utility should be used when the contents of long lines need to be  kept

       Earlier	versions  of  the  cut	utility worked in an environment where
       bytes and characters were considered equivalent (modulo <backspace> and
       <tab>  processing  in  some  implementations). In the extended world of
       multi-byte characters, the new −b option has been added. The −n	option
       (used  with −b) allows it to be used to act on bytes rounded to charac‐
       ter boundaries.	The algorithm specified for −n guarantees that:

	   cut −b 1−500 −n file > file1
	   cut −b 501− −n file > file2

       ends up with all the characters in file appearing exactly once in file1
       or  file2.  (There is, however, a <newline> in both file1 and file2 for
       each <newline> in file.)

       Examples of the option qualifier list:

       1,4,7   Select the first, fourth, and  seventh  bytes,  characters,  or
	       fields and field delimiters.

       1−3,8   Equivalent to 1,2,3,8.

       −5,10   Equivalent to 1,2,3,4,5,10.

       3−      Equivalent to third to last, inclusive.

       The  low−high  forms are not always equivalent when used with −b and −n
       and multi-byte characters; see the description of −n.

       The following command:

	   cut −d : −f 1,6 /etc/passwd

       reads the System V password file (user database) and produces lines  of
       the form:

	   <user ID>:<home directory>

       Most  utilities	in this volume of POSIX.1‐2008 work on text files. The
       cut utility can be used to turn files with arbitrary line lengths  into
       a  set of text files containing the same data. The paste utility can be
       used to create (or recreate) files with	arbitrary  line	 lengths.  For
       example, if file contains long lines:

	   cut −b 1−500 −n file > file1
	   cut −b 501− −n file > file2

       creates	file1  (a text file) with lines no longer than 500 bytes (plus
       the <newline>) and file2 that contains the remainder of the  data  from
       file.   (Note  that file2 is not a text file if there are lines in file
       that are longer than 500 + {LINE_MAX} bytes.) The original file can  be
       recreated from file1 and file2 using the command:

	   paste −d "\0" file1 file2 > file

       Some  historical implementations do not count <backspace> characters in
       determining character counts with the −c option. This may be useful for
       using  cut for processing nroff output. It was deliberately decided not
       to have the −c option treat either <backspace> or <tab>	characters  in
       any  special fashion. The fold utility does treat these characters spe‐

       Unlike other utilities, some historical	implementations	 of  cut  exit
       after  not finding an input file, rather than continuing to process the
       remaining file operands. This behavior is prohibited by this volume  of
       POSIX.1‐2008, where only the exit status is affected by this problem.

       The  behavior  of  cut  when  provided  with  either mutually-exclusive
       options or options that do not work logically together has been	delib‐
       erately	left  unspecified  in  favor of global wording in Section 1.4,
       Utility Description Defaults.

       The OPTIONS section was changed in response to IEEE PASC Interpretation
       1003.2  #149.  The  change  represents historical practice on all known
       systems. The original standard was ambiguous on the nature of the  out‐

       The  list option-arguments are historically used to select the portions
       of the line to be written, but do not affect the order of the data. For

	   echo abcdefghi | cut −c6,2,4−7,1

       yields "abdefg".

       A proposal to enhance cut with the following option:

       −o    Preserve the selected field order. When this option is specified,
	     each byte, character, or field (or ranges of such) shall be writ‐
	     ten  in  the order specified by the list option-argument, even if
	     this requires multiple outputs of the same bytes, characters,  or

       was  rejected  because this type of enhancement is outside the scope of
       the IEEE P1003.2b draft standard.


       Section 2.5, Parameters and Variables, fold, grep, paste

       The Base Definitions volume of  POSIX.1‐2008,  Chapter  8,  Environment
       Variables, Section 12.2, Utility Syntax Guidelines

       Portions	 of  this text are reprinted and reproduced in electronic form
       from IEEE Std 1003.1, 2013 Edition, Standard for Information Technology
       --  Portable  Operating	System	Interface (POSIX), The Open Group Base
       Specifications Issue 7, Copyright (C) 2013 by the Institute of Electri‐
       cal  and	 Electronics  Engineers,  Inc  and  The	 Open Group.  (This is
       POSIX.1-2008 with the 2013 Technical Corrigendum	 1  applied.)  In  the
       event of any discrepancy between this version and the original IEEE and
       The Open Group Standard, the original IEEE and The Open Group  Standard
       is  the	referee document. The original Standard can be obtained online
       at .

       Any typographical or formatting errors that appear  in  this  page  are
       most likely to have been introduced during the conversion of the source
       files to man page format. To report such errors,	 see  https://www.ker‐ .

IEEE/The Open Group		     2013			       CUT(1P)

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