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HEAD(1) General Commands Manual HEAD(1)

NAME

headdisplay first few lines of files

SYNOPSIS

head [-count | -n count] [file ...]

DESCRIPTION

The head utility copies the first count lines of each specified file to the standard output. If no files are named, head copies lines from the standard input. If count is omitted, it defaults to 10.
The options are as follows:
 
 
-count | -n count
Copy the first count lines of each input file to the standard output. count must be a positive decimal integer.
If more than one file is specified, head precedes the output of each file with the following, in order to distinguish files:
==> file <==

EXIT STATUS

The head utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.

EXAMPLES

To display the first 500 lines of the file foo:
$ head -n 500 foo
head can be used in conjunction with tail(1) in the following way to, for example, display only line 500 from the file foo:
$ head -n 500 foo | tail -1

SEE ALSO

cat(1), cut(1), less(1), more(1), tail(1)

STANDARDS

The head utility is compliant with the IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 (“POSIX.1”) specification.
The historic syntax -count is supported by this implementation.

HISTORY

The head utility first appeared in 1BSD.

AUTHORS

Bill Joy, August 24, 1977.
October 25, 2015 OpenBSD-current