I'm looking for a bash command, which I can use to limit the number of lines of a file or another command output. E.g.

ls -thor | limit 10

would limit the output of the ls command to 10 lines (in the example, the command "limit" is naturally a imaginary command, whose equivalent I'm looking for). Is there such command, or a related solution?


Use head:

ls -l | head -n 15

10 lines is the default. Read the head man page for more options.

(older versions of head also support usage without the explicit -n as in head -15)

  • beat me to it :)
    – warren
    Sep 11 '09 at 11:18
  • Thx. I should have figured it out, it's obvious when you know that there is a "tail" command.. :)
    – simon
    Sep 11 '09 at 11:29
  • 2
    Syntax -integer is (at least in GNU version of head/tail discouraged - you should be using -n 15)
    – user7385
    Sep 11 '09 at 11:51
  • I didn't know that. Old habits die hard. I'll have to try to learn that. Sep 11 '09 at 13:49
  • 1
    The current GNU Coreutils version head accepts head -15 (but only if it's the first argument). The document describes this option as obsolete. Jan 15 '12 at 16:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.