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:
Create the following three files in your unix or linux servers to practice to practice the examples:
> cat file1 Unix Linux Windows > cat file2 Dedicated server Virtual server > cat file3 Hosting Machine Operating system
1. Merging files in parallel
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
2. Specifying the delimiter
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|
In the above example, pipe delimiter is specified
3. Merging files in sequentially.
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
4. Specifying multiple delimiters.
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
5. Combining N consecutive lines
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