Which command(s) can be used to sort the lines of list.file alphabetically and display it on the screen?(choose two)

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Which command(s) can be used to sort the lines of list.file alphabetically and display it on the screen?(choose two)

  • cat list.file | sort
  • echo list.file > sort
  • cat list.file >> sort
  • sort < list.file
Explanation & Hints:

Understanding the Command Components

  1. cat: This is a standard Unix utility whose name is short for concatenate. Its primary purpose is to read the contents of files and output them to the standard output (which is, by default, the screen). When you use cat with a single file as in cat list.file, it simply displays the contents of list.file on your screen.
  2. | (Pipe): The pipe character is a powerful feature in Unix and Linux that allows you to send the output of one command directly into another command as input. This lets you chain together simple commands to perform complex operations. In the context of cat list.file | sort, the output of cat list.file (which is the contents of list.file) is immediately passed to the sort command.
  3. sort: This command sorts lines of text alphabetically (by default). When it receives text from the standard input (which, in this case, is the output of cat list.file), it sorts this input and then outputs the sorted text to the standard output.

How the Command Works Together

  • When you run cat list.file | sort, the cat command reads list.file and outputs its contents.
  • This output is not displayed directly to the screen but is instead piped into the sort command.
  • The sort command then takes this piped input (the contents of list.file), sorts these contents alphabetically, and outputs the sorted list.
  • This sorted list is what you finally see on your screen.

Effectiveness and Efficiency

  • Simplicity: This command chain is straightforward and utilizes basic Unix commands, making it easy to remember and use.
  • Versatility: By using pipes, you can extend this command to include additional filters or operations. For example, you could further process the sorted output with other commands (like uniq to remove duplicate lines) by adding more pipes.
  • Resource Usage: Since Unix pipes work by passing data directly between processes without intermediate storage, this approach can be more efficient with system resources for large files compared to some alternatives that might require temporary storage or more complex processing.

This command exemplifies the Unix philosophy of building simple, modular tools that do one thing well and can be combined with other tools to perform complex tasks efficiently.

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