in grep command I can set max line to output with parameter -m. How I can specify max line in cat command ?


cat is dedicated to whole files.

You are looking for either head or tail, depending if your counting starts from the beginning or end of a file.


  • head --lines=100 print the first 100 lines
  • head --lines=-100 print all but the last 100 lines
  • tail --lines=100 print the last 100 lines
  • tail --lines=-100 print all but the first 100 lines


You may also have a look at tac. The result is clear, if you compare the word tac with cat.
tac prints out all lines in reverse ordering.

  • I want to println file from start. Thx head is what I looking for – hudi Mar 12 '13 at 8:37
  • @hudi updated answer should make it clear. – user86064 Mar 12 '13 at 8:42

Use head -n $NUMBER_OF_LINES instead of cat.

And watch out for useless uses of cat.

  • @hudi: Read the answer again. – BatchyX Mar 12 '13 at 8:37

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