One can obtain the value of of
LINE_MAX by running
getconf LINE_MAX. On FreeBSD 12 and Ubuntu 18.04 (and I suspect many others) this value is 2048 bytes.
In POSIX world, there are many shell utilties that are specifically designed to work with text files. A file that has any one line that exceeds
LINE_MAX bytes in length (newline inclusive) is not a text file (as defined by POSIX anyway). A shell utility designed to take text files as input is not required to be able to properly handle this kind of file.
In practice, I seem unable to find a utility that is unable to deal with text files with really long lines. It is my understanding that GNU utilities do not have any sort of real limit to how long a line in a text file can be (I'm not sure about FreeBSD).
Is anyone aware of a shell utility on any modern or semi-modern operating system that chokes on lines that exceed
LINE_MAX bytes in length? As an aside, are programming languages like Perl and Python affected by the value of