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I freely admit I have very little experience with the Windows cli but I seem to recall that DOS had no pipe (or redirect for that matter, but I may well be wrong, its been a while).

I have seen some answers on this site that use the Unix pipe (|) character to pass information from one command to another. Is this something the Windows cli has added relatively recently? Is it a part of the normal Windows shell? Was it always there and I just did not know it? Did DOS have it?

In summary, can someone give me a short history of piping in the windows command line?

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closed as off topic by Canadian Luke, Brad Patton, Tog, Dave, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Apr 23 '13 at 11:50

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Well, the Windows command processor has been hosed since the beginning. The pipe, I couldn't say for sure. I think it sorta came and went a few times in specific contexts. –  Daniel R Hicks Apr 23 '13 at 1:37
    
Been using DOS since I came off of CP/M and migrated over to IBM XT which would have been DOS 2.0. It's always been there. –  Fiasco Labs Apr 23 '13 at 20:54

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

It has been there since IBM's PC DOS 2, from what this page says

The UNIX concepts implemented in DOS 2.0 were:

Hierarchical directories
Redirection (pipes)
Background execution (daemons)

DOS / Windows uses the | pipe, >, >>, <, and << for redirection.

Powershell also uses the pipe heavily, where something like:

get-Something "C:\Program Files" | $_.Attribute | Out-File H:\MyInfo.txt
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I know the pipe and redirection was available since DOS 5. See this book.

Found a reference to piping and redirection in DOS 2.0 here.

So its definitely been around for a while...

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