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7.3 uniq: Uniquify files

uniq writes the unique lines in the given ‘input’, or standard input if nothing is given or for an input name of ‘-’. Synopsis:

 
uniq [option]… [input [output]]

By default, uniq prints its input lines, except that it discards all but the first of adjacent repeated lines, so that no output lines are repeated. Optionally, it can instead discard lines that are not repeated, or all repeated lines.

The input need not be sorted, but repeated input lines are detected only if they are adjacent. If you want to discard non-adjacent duplicate lines, perhaps you want to use sort -u. See section sort: Sort text files.

Comparisons use the character collating sequence specified by the LC_COLLATE locale category.

If no output file is specified, uniq writes to standard output.

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

-f n
--skip-fields=n

Skip n fields on each line before checking for uniqueness. Use a null string for comparison if a line has fewer than n fields. Fields are sequences of non-space non-tab characters that are separated from each other by at least one space or tab.

For compatibility uniq supports an obsolete option syntax ‘-n’. New scripts should use ‘-f n’ instead.

-s n
--skip-chars=n

Skip n characters before checking for uniqueness. Use a null string for comparison if a line has fewer than n characters. If you use both the field and character skipping options, fields are skipped over first.

On older systems, uniq supports an obsolete option syntax ‘+n’. This obsolete behavior can be enabled or disabled with the _POSIX2_VERSION environment variable (see section Standards conformance), but portable scripts should avoid commands whose behavior depends on this variable. For example, use ‘uniq ./+10’ or ‘uniq -s 10’ rather than the ambiguous ‘uniq +10’.

-c
--count

Print the number of times each line occurred along with the line.

-i
--ignore-case

Ignore differences in case when comparing lines.

-d
--repeated

Discard lines that are not repeated. When used by itself, this option causes uniq to print the first copy of each repeated line, and nothing else.

-D
--all-repeated[=delimit-method]

Do not discard the second and subsequent repeated input lines, but discard lines that are not repeated. This option is useful mainly in conjunction with other options e.g., to ignore case or to compare only selected fields. The optional delimit-method tells how to delimit groups of repeated lines, and must be one of the following:

none

Do not delimit groups of repeated lines. This is equivalent to ‘--all-repeated’ (‘-D’).

prepend

Output a newline before each group of repeated lines. With ‘--zero-terminated’ (‘-z’), use an ASCII NUL (zero) byte instead of a newline.

separate

Separate groups of repeated lines with a single newline. With ‘--zero-terminated’ (‘-z’), use an ASCII NUL (zero) byte instead of a newline. This is the same as using ‘prepend’, except that no delimiter is inserted before the first group, and hence may be better suited for output direct to users.

Note that when groups are delimited and the input stream contains two or more consecutive blank lines, then the output is ambiguous. To avoid that, filter the input through ‘tr -s '\n'’ to replace each sequence of consecutive newlines with a single newline.

This is a GNU extension.

-u
--unique

Discard the first repeated line. When used by itself, this option causes uniq to print unique lines, and nothing else.

-w n
--check-chars=n

Compare at most n characters on each line (after skipping any specified fields and characters). By default the entire rest of the lines are compared.

-z
--zero-terminated

Treat the input as a set of lines, each terminated by a null character (ASCII NUL) instead of a line feed (ASCII LF). This option can be useful in conjunction with ‘sort -z’, ‘perl -0’ or ‘find -print0’ and ‘xargs -0’ which do the same in order to reliably handle arbitrary file names (even those containing blanks or other special characters).

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


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