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Why does sed act differently depending on the output file?

I wonder why this command will simply replace the content of file1 with the content of file2, instead of the combination the original content of the two files?

paste file1 file2 > file1


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marked as duplicate by Michael Mrozek May 9 '12 at 22:58

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1 Answer 1

The redirection clobbers file1. This is why we redirect to a different filename and rename after.

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Thanks! Could you explain what "the redirection clobbers file1" mean? –  Tim May 9 '12 at 22:56

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