I have hundreds of files of the form ~/foo.x.y. The files are


I want to combine all of these files into a big file ~/results/output.txt where the order is preserved. I'm fairly certain that

$ cat ~/foo* > ~/results/output.txt

accomplishes this but I'm not sure if this command will respect the ordering of my foo files. Does this command work? If not, how can I accomplish my task?

  • The examples you have given will be matched in order by foo.*, you should try to add as many examples as possible to have a greater matching surface, and better precision. – heemayl Oct 9 '16 at 15:08

cat will follow the order of the arguments, if you expand ~/foo* (in some shells double tab, or echo ~/foo*) you will see the order.

The order of the * wildcard is alphabetic.

SO globbing question: https://superuser.com/questions/192280/does-bashs-match-files-in-alphanumeric-order


From man bash:

After word splitting, unless the -f option has been set, bash scans
each word for the characters *, ?, and [.  If one of these characters
appears, then the word is regarded as a pattern, and replaced with an
*alphabetically* sorted list of filenames matching the pattern

Note alphabetically. In your case it will be:

$ cat foo.0001.0010 foo.0011.0020 foo.0021.0030

You can expand * with C-x * after typing * and before pressing Enter.

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