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File:,  Node: head invocation,  Next: tail invocation,  Up: Output of parts of files

5.1 `head': Output the first part of files

`head' prints the first part (10 lines by default) of each FILE; it
reads from standard input if no files are given or when given a FILE of
`-'.  Synopsis:

     head [OPTION]... [FILE]...

   If more than one FILE is specified, `head' prints a one-line header
consisting of:

     ==> FILE NAME <==

before the output for each FILE.

   The program accepts the following options.  Also see *note Common

`-c K'
     Print the first K bytes, instead of initial lines.  However, if K
     starts with a `-', print all but the last K bytes of each file.  K
     may be, or may be an integer optionally followed by, one of the
     following multiplicative suffixes:
          `b'  =>            512 ("blocks")
          `KB' =>           1000 (KiloBytes)
          `K'  =>           1024 (KibiBytes)
          `MB' =>      1000*1000 (MegaBytes)
          `M'  =>      1024*1024 (MebiBytes)
          `GB' => 1000*1000*1000 (GigaBytes)
          `G'  => 1024*1024*1024 (GibiBytes)
     and so on for `T', `P', `E', `Z', and `Y'.

`-n K'
     Output the first K lines.  However, if K starts with a `-', print
     all but the last K lines of each file.  Size multiplier suffixes
     are the same as with the `-c' option.

     Never print file name headers.

     Always print file name headers.

   For compatibility `head' also supports an obsolete option syntax
`-COUNTOPTIONS', which is recognized only if it is specified first.
COUNT is a decimal number optionally followed by a size letter (`b',
`k', `m') as in `-c', or `l' to mean count by lines, or other option
letters (`cqv').  Scripts intended for standard hosts should use `-c
COUNT' or `-n COUNT' instead.  If your script must also run on hosts
that support only the obsolete syntax, it is usually simpler to avoid
`head', e.g., by using `sed 5q' instead of `head -5'.

   An exit status of zero indicates success, and a nonzero value
indicates failure.