Print a file skipping first X lines in Bash


Question

I have a very long file which I want to print but skipping the first 1e6 lines for example. I look into the cat man page but I did not see any option to do this. I am looking for a command to do this or a simple bash program.

1
478
12/11/2017 11:36:02 PM

Accepted Answer

You'll need tail. Some examples:

$ tail great-big-file.log
< Last 10 lines of great-big-file.log >

If you really need to SKIP a particular number of "first" lines, use

$ tail -n +<N+1> <filename>
< filename, excluding first N lines. >

That is, if you want to skip N lines, you start printing line N+1. Example:

$ tail -n +11 /tmp/myfile
< /tmp/myfile, starting at line 11, or skipping the first 10 lines. >

If you want to just see the last so many lines, omit the "+":

$ tail -n <N> <filename>
< last N lines of file. >
772
12/14/2018 11:27:31 PM

If you have GNU tail available on your system, you can do the following:

tail -n +1000001 huge-file.log

It's the + character that does what you want. To quote from the man page:

If the first character of K (the number of bytes or lines) is a `+', print beginning with the Kth item from the start of each file.

Thus, as noted in the comment, putting +1000001 starts printing with the first item after the first 1,000,000 lines.


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