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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.


fmt [options] [files]

Convert text to specified width by filling lines and removing newlines. Concatenate files on the command line, or read text from standard input if - (or no file) is specified. By default, preserve blank lines, spacing, and indentation. fmt attempts to break lines at the end of sentences and to avoid breaking lines after a sentence's first word or before its last.



Crown margin mode. Do not change indentation of each paragraph's first two lines. Use the second line's indentation as the default for subsequent lines.

-p prefix,--prefix=prefix

Format only lines beginning with prefix.


Suppress line-joining.


Tagged paragraph mode. Same as crown mode when the indentations of the first and second lines differ. If the indentation is the same, treat the first line as its own separate paragraph.


Reduce spacing to a maximum of one space between words and two between sentences.

-w width,--width=width

Set output width to width. The default is 75.


Print help message and then exit.


Print version information and then exit.

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