Is there any difference between (# comments taken from documentation)

command > filename  # Docs: Redirect stdout to a file.


command 1> filename # Docs: Redirect stdout to file "filename."

2 Answers 2


From the Bash manual's section on Redirection (emphasis mine):

Redirection of output causes the file whose name results from the expansion of word to be opened for writing on file descriptor n, or the standard output (file descriptor 1) if n is not specified. If the file does not exist it is created; if it does exist it is truncated to zero size.

So, there is no difference between >foo and 1>foo.


Standard output is the implicit file descriptor if it isn't listed, so they're effectively the same thing. Using 1> is not a style that I've ever seen.

% grep _FILENO /usr/include/unistd.h 
#define  STDIN_FILENO   0       /* standard input file descriptor */
#define STDOUT_FILENO   1       /* standard output file descriptor */
#define STDERR_FILENO   2       /* standard error file descriptor */
  • How does the shell use unistd.h?
    – John_West
    Mar 17, 2016 at 23:44
  • 1
    The shell and most if not all programs are compiled with unistd.h.
    – Law29
    Mar 18, 2016 at 5:12

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