6 Ways to View Linux File Content

One of many primary methods you should utilize your Linux PC is thru recordsdata.

Nearly any file you’re employed on straight within the Linux terminal will be manipulated as a textual content file. This contains configuration recordsdata, log recordsdata about numerous providers and processes within the system, and script recordsdata that include the Linux distribution of your alternative or that you simply write your self.

Realizing rapidly view the contents of those recordsdata within the Linux terminal is a useful ability that won’t solely prevent time, but in addition enable you study extra in regards to the system. This tutorial will present you view most of these recordsdata within the Linux terminal.

cat

The cat command is a straightforward and intensely helpful command for viewing file contents on Linux.

You need to use the cat command to rapidly print the file contents to the usual output within the terminal or alternatively concatenate the output.

The syntax for the cat command is as follows:

$ cat [OPTION] [FILE1] …

For instance, if in case you have a file referred to as simple-list.txtcontaining an inventory of some objects, you may view the contents of this file utilizing the command

$ cat simple-list.txt

For instance:

$ cat simple-list.txt 
bananas 
strawberries 
grapes 
apples 
watermelons 
oranges 
blueberries 
lemons 
peaches 
avocados 
pineapples 
cherries 
cantaloupe 
raspberries 
pears 
limes 
blackberries 
clementine 
mangoes 
plums 

You too can checklist a number of recordsdata without delay to get the output of all recordsdata within the terminal without delay as proven beneath:

$ cat testfile1.txt testfile2.txt 
these are the contents of testfilel.txt. 
and that is the tip of testfilel.txt 
these are the contents of testfile2.txt. 
and that is the tip of testfile2.txt

NL

To see the road variety of every line in a file, use the nl command does simply that. You need to use this command in the identical means because the cat command, the one distinction being that nl has default line numbers enabled.

Utilizing the cat command, you will get the identical end result with the -e possibility. Right here is an instance output of it simple-list.txt file output with nl

$ nl simple-list.txt 
1 bananas 
2 strawberries 
3 grapes 
4 apples 
5 watermelons
6 oranges 
7 blueberries 
8 lemons 
9 peaches 
10 avocados 
11 pineapples 
12 cherries 
13 cantaloupe 
14 raspberries 
15 pears 
16 limes 
17 blackberries 
18 clementine 
19 mangoes 
20 plums 

The road numbers will be modified to maintain them aligned utilizing the -nln alternative. There are additionally different choices you should utilize with the nl command, listed beneath man nl

extra

Till now, you needed to scroll via the output utilizing your mouse wheel or Shift+Web page-up And Shift+Web page-down buttons on the keyboard.

Nevertheless, extra command offers a a lot simpler strategy to view longer recordsdata that do not totally match within the terminal window.

The identical simple-list.txt file is displayed when considered via extra instructions:

Navigation within the show window of extra instructions will be line-by-line or page-by-page. You need to use the Enter key to navigate line by line, or the house key to navigate web page by web page.

The B secret’s used to return to the earlier web page. Extra command additionally tells you while you attain the tip of the file, as proven beneath:

You’ll be able to exit the extra command show window at any time by urgent q, which returns you to the terminal display. This fashion, extra instructions can be utilized to view lengthy configuration or log recordsdata with out interrupting the circulation of the terminal.

fewer

Much less is a extra fashionable model of extra command. When fewer instructions had been launched to the Linux ecosystem, a lot of the instructions didn’t assist backup scrolling.

Along with permitting customers to scroll up and down, much less command additionally helps horizontal scrolling, helps higher dealing with of binaries, and may search via textual content.

Let’s check out our simple-list.txt file via much less:

$ much less simple-list.txt

You need to use the arrow keys on the keyboard to navigate, along with the navigation keys for extra instructions. Whereas in much less’s show window, you should utilize /phrase to look the file contents by phrase.

That is proven within the screenshot beneath the place the consumer searches for Apple within the file contents:

Much less command additionally helps extra superior options, equivalent to with the ability to view the file contents when a selected phrase first seems. To do that, the syntax of the command is as follows:

$ much less +/target-word /path-to-file

For instance, to open the apples.txt file when the phrase cultivar first seems, the next command is used:

$ much less +/cultivar apples.txt

head

In case you simply need to rapidly view the primary ten strains of a file, you are able to do so by way of

The head command as proven beneath:

$ head simple-list.txt 
bananas 
strawberries 
grapes apples 
watermelons 
oranges 
blueberries 
lemons 
peaches 
avocados

By default, solely the primary ten strains are displayed within the terminal, however you may change the variety of strains displayed utilizing the -n possibility, as proven beneath:

$ head -n 5 simple-list.txt 
bananas 
strawberries 
grapes 
apples 
watermelons

In the identical means, the -c possibility can be utilized to print a selected variety of bytes from the file to the terminal.

tail

The tail The command works like the pinnacle command, with the one main distinction being that it exhibits the final ten strains of the file as a substitute of the primary ten strains.

$ tail simple-list.txt 
cherries 
cantaloupe 
raspberries 
pears 
limes 
blackberries 
clementine
mangoes 
plums 
tangerines 
$ tail -n 5 simple-list.txt 
blackberries 
clementine
mangoes 
plums 
tangerines

As well as, each the pinnacle and tail instructions can be utilized with different file viewer instructions proven within the tutorial to supply higher output for customers.

For instance the nl command can be utilized to checklist the file with line numbers first. Then the end result will be piped to much less to see the final three strains of the file, as proven beneath:

$ nl simple-list.txt | tail -n 3 
19 mangoes 
20 plums 
21 tangerines 

Ceaselessly requested questions on viewing Linux recordsdata

How can I see the kind of a file earlier than viewing it within the terminal?

You’ll be able to examine the kind of a file via the file command, the syntax of which is as follows:

$ file [OPTIONS] target-file

How can I view the contents of a really giant log file, say an apache or Nginx log file, to discover a particular line?

You’ll be able to mix a number of instructions by way of piping to not solely search via giant log recordsdata, but in addition to show the search lead to a transparent output.

For instance, for those who use grep with nl And tailyou may examine the previous few instances a selected file was requested out of your net server, as proven beneath:

$ nl /var/log/apache/mywebsite.log | grep target-file.jpg | tail -n 5

The above command exhibits the final instances target-file.jpg was requested in your net server.

How do I navigate the show home windows of extra and fewer instructions?

The house secret’s used to scroll down a full web page with extra and fewer instructions.

To scroll down line by line in much less time, use the Enter key on the keyboard.

Use the b key to scroll again to a web page.

How can I seek for a selected time period or phrase within the show window of kind of instructions whereas studying?

To seek for a selected phrase within the contents of the file you are type of at present viewing, use the /word-to-search syntax.

What command can I take advantage of if I need to open a picture or RTF doc file via the terminal?

You need to use the overall command xdg-viewor a variant of it for the precise distribution you might have put in, e.g. gnome-view or kde-viewto open an RTF or picture file.

$ xdg-view enwiki.png

This may open the file within the default software for the goal file sort.

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