select portions of each line of a file
-n] [file ...]
delim] [file ...]
utility selects portions of each line (as
specified by list
) from each file
and writes them to the standard output. If no file
arguments are specified, or a file argument is a single dash
reads from the standard
input. The items specified by list
can be in terms of
column position or in terms of fields delimited by a special character. Column
and field numbering starts from 1; output is in the same order as input, not
in the order selected.
list is a comma or whitespace separated set
of numbers and/or number ranges. Number ranges consist of a number, a dash
(‘-’), and a second number which select the fields or columns
from the first number to the second, inclusive. Numbers or number ranges may
be preceded by a dash, which selects all fields or columns from 1 to the
first number. Numbers or number ranges may be followed by a dash, which
selects all fields or columns from the last number to the end of the line.
Numbers and number ranges may be repeated, overlapping, and in any order. It
is not an error to select fields or columns not present in the input
The options are as follows:
- The list specifies byte positions.
- The list specifies character positions.
- Use the first character of delim as the field
delimiter character. The default is the ⟨TAB⟩
- The list specifies fields, separated by the field
delimiter character. The selected fields are output, separated by the
field delimiter character.
- Do not split multi-byte characters. A character is written to standard
output if and only if the byte position holding its last byte is
- Suppresses lines with no field delimiter characters. Unless specified,
lines with no delimiters are passed through unmodified.
- The character encoding locale(1). It
decides which byte sequences form characters. If unset or set to
“C”, “POSIX”, or an unsupported value,
-c does the same as
-n has no effect, and
uses the first byte of delim.
cut utility exits 0 if all input files are output
successfully, and >0 if an error occurs.
Extract login names and shells from the system
passwd(5) file as
$ cut -d : -f 1,7
Show the names and login times of logged in users:
$ who | cut -c 1-8,18-30
cut utility is compliant with the
IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 (“POSIX.1”)