Ubuntu Linux: Create a Text File Using cat Command

How can I create a text file from the command line on Ubuntu Linux? How do I create an empty file from the command line under Ubuntu operating systems?

You can use the following commands:
Tutorial details
Difficulty level Easy
Root privileges No
Requirements cat/bash shell
Est. reading time Less than a 1 minute
cat > fileName – Create a text file.

> fileName – Create an empty file.

touch fileName – Create an empty file.

Example – Create an empty file

Open a terminal and type the following command to create a file called foo.txt:

> foo.txt


touch foo.txt

To verify your file, enter:

ls -l foo.txt
cat foo.txt

Example – Create a text file

Open a terminal and type the following cat command to create a text file called bar.txt:

cat > bar.txt

Add text or lines:

This is a test.
To swap out hard drive as an external storage you need to use 

You need to press [CTRL] + [D] i.e. hold the control key down, then tap d. The > symbol tells the Ubuntu that what is typed is to be stored into the file called bar.txt. To verify your data, enter:

ls -l bar.txt
cat bar.txt

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🐧 5 comments so far... add one

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5 comments… add one
  • Buvanesh Kumar Jan 25, 2014 @ 18:35

    hey very wonderful. Thank you. i am new in Ubuntu. i love Ubuntu. i want more this type of Terminal tutorials. Please send to mailto:buvanesh@engineer.com

  • NotARobot Sep 6, 2016 @ 18:55

    cool, i thought that the text file would be like press word or something that would pop up and u can start type in it

  • Devacann Feb 11, 2017 @ 19:39

    Nice….. now i know how create a empty file somewhere in the universe.

  • salty May 31, 2017 @ 1:37

    okay… and where do you find the file you created? not a very big help if it gets lost in the code after i created it….

    • 🐧 Vivek Gite May 31, 2017 @ 5:41

      Run ls command:
      find $HOME -iname "your-file-name-here"

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