Paste command is one of the useful commands in UNIX or LINUX operating system.The paste command merges the lines from multiple files. The paste command sequentially writes the corresponding lines from each file separated by a TAB delimiter on the UNIX terminal.
The syntax of the paste command is
paste [options] files-list
The options of paste command are:
-d: Specify of a list of delimiters.
-s: Paste one file at a time instead of in parallel.
--version: version information
--help: Help about the paste command.
Paste Command Examples:
Creating below three files
> cat file1 Unix Linux Windows > cat file2 Dedicated server Virtual server > cat file3 Hosting Machine Operating system
By default, the paste command merges the files in parallel. The paste command writes corresponding lines from the files as a tab delimited on the terminal.
> paste file1 file2 Unix Dedicated server Linux Virtual server Windows > paste file2 file1 Dedicated server Unix Virtual server Linux Windows
Paste command uses the tab delimiter by default for merging the files. You can change the delimiter to any other character by using the -d option.
> paste -d"|" file1 file2 Unix|Dedicated server Linux|Virtual server Windows|
You can merge the files in sequentially using the -s option. The paste command reads each file in sequentially. It reads all the lines from a single file and merges all these lines into a single line.
> paste -s file1 file2 Unix Linux Windows Dedicated server Virtual server
The following example shows how to specify a delimiter for sequential merging of files:
> paste -s -d"," file1 file2 Unix,Linux,Windows Dedicated server,Virtual server
Multiple delimiters come in handy when you want to merge more than two files with different delimiters. For example I want to merge file1, file2 with pipe delimiter and file2, file3 with comma delimiter. In this case multiple delimiters will be helpful.
> paste -d"|," file1 file2 file3 Unix|Dedicated server,Hosting Linux|Virtual server,Machine Windows|,Operating system
The paste command can also be used to merge N consecutive lines from a file into a single line. The following example merges 2 consecutive lines into a single line
> cat file1 | paste - - Unix Linux Windows
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