head [options] [files]
The head command options are:
- c : Prints the first N bytes of file; With leading -, prints all but the last N bytes of the file.
- n : Prints first N lines; With leading - print all but the last N lines of each file.
Create the following file in your linux or unix operating system for practicing the examples:
> cat example.txt linux storage ubuntu os fedora
1. Display first 10 lines
By default, the head command prints the first 10 lines from a file.
> head example.txt
2. Display first N lines
Use the -n option to print the first n lines from a file. The following example prints the first 2 lines from the file:
> head -n2 example.txt linux storage ubuntu os
3. Skip last N lines
You can skip the last N lines from a file and print the remaining lines. The following example skips the last 2 lines and prints the remaining lines.
> head -n-2 example.txt linux storage
4. Print the first n bytes.
use the -c option to print the first N bytes from the file. The following example prints the first 5 bytes from the file.
> head -c5 example.txt linux
5. Skip printing last n bytes.
Use the leading "-", to skip printing last N bytes.
> head -c-7 example.txt linux storage ubuntu os
6. Print line between M and N lines.
You can combine the head command with tail command to print lines between the line numbers M and N. The following command prints the lines between numbers 5 and 10.
> head -n10 filename | tail -5