HowTo Display Text Files In a Shell Script

Posted on in Categories , , last updated November 23, 2013

I am a new Unix user and learning bash shell scripting. How do I display a text file stored in /tmp directory in a shell script?

There are many ways to display a text file in a shell script. You can simply use the cat command and display back output on screen. Another option is to read a text file line by line and display back the output. In some cases you may need to store output to a variable and later display back on screen.

Task: Display output using the cat command

Following sample script displays contents of a file called /tmp/input.txt:

#!/bin/bash
FILE="/tmp/input.txt"
echo "*** File - $FILE contents ***"
cat $FILE

Task: Store a file output in a variable

Following sample script displays nameserver IPs:

#!/bin/bash
FILE="/etc/resolv.conf"
OUT=$(awk '{ print $2 }' $FILE)
echo "*** Nameserver IP ***"
for ip in $OUT
do  
   echo $ip
done

Task: Read a text file line-by-line

See our previous tutorial for more information:

  1. Linux/ UNIX: Read a File Line By Line
  2. Linux / Unix AWK: Read a Text File
  3. HowTo: Bash For While Loop Through File Contents Script
  4. Ksh Read a File Line By Line ( UNIX Scripting )

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

6 comment

  1. How to display certain part of a file? For example, I have a file myFile.Java and I would like to display the contents between lines 30-40. How to do that in linux? with cat?

    Thanks,

  2. I have 1 more Que.

    i want a shell script for identify mentioned string is file or directory if its a directory then display the contests of the same and if this is file show the content of file

  3. Sir,
    I am a beginner in Linux /Unix and I want answer to the following question.
    Q. Write a shell script in Linux /Unix that accepts a text file as input and prints the number of words in the file which have at least one vowel as output.

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