Ubuntu Linux: Create a Text File Using cat Command

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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:

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

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

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5 comment

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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….

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