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Linux in a Nutshell

This directory of Linux commands is from Linux in a Nutshell, 5th Edition.

Click on any of the 687 commands below to get a description and list of available options. All links in the command summaries point to the online version of the book on Safari Bookshelf.

Buy it now, or read it online on Safari Bookshelf.


cut options [files]

Cut out selected columns or fields from one or more files. In the following options, list is a sequence of integers. Use a comma between separate values, and a hyphen to specify a range (e.g., 1-10,15,20 or 50-). See also paste and join.


-b list, --bytes list

Specify list of positions; only bytes in these positions will be printed.

-c list, --characters list

Cut the column positions identified in list. Column numbers start with 1.

-d c, --delimiter c

Use with -f to specify field delimiter as character c (default is tab); special characters (e.g., a space) must be quoted.

-f list, --fields list

Cut the fields identified in list.


Don't split multibyte characters.

-s, --only-delimited

Use with -f to suppress lines without delimiters.


Use string as the output delimiter. By default, the output delimiter is the same as the input delimiter.


Print help message and exit.


Print version information and exit.


Extract usernames and real names from /etc/passwd:

cut -d: -f1,5 /etc/passwd

Find out who is logged on, but list only login names:

who | cut -d" " -f1

Cut characters in the fourth column of file, and paste them back as the first column in the same file:

cut -c4 file | paste - file

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