How do I open a text file in my terminal?

There is a file named RESULTS.txt and I want to open this file in my terminal. (I mean I want to see the file contents be displayed in the terminal and not in some text editor)

How do I do that ?

Here is Solutions:

We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first solution because it is tested & true solution that will 100% work for you.

Solution 1

For short files:

cat <path/your_file>

directly shows a text file in the terminal.

For longer files:

less <path/your_file>

lets you scroll and search (/ text to search Enter) in the file; press q to exit.


cat /home/john/RESULTS.txt
less /home/john/RESULTS.txt

Solution 2

Another alternative is vim.

vim RESULTS.txt

Once you opened a file with vim you can insert text by typing i, for instance. If you want to save your file use :w (write) or :q (quit) or :wq (for write and quit) or :q! (quit and do not save). Sometimes you need to hit the ESC key to be able to type the commands.

Vim requires some learning, but is widely used and it is very versatile.

Check the community help wiki:

Vim is an advanced text editor that provides the power of the de-facto
Unix editor ‘Vi’ with a more complete feature set. Vim is often called
a “programmer’s editor,” and is so useful for programming that many
consider it an entire IDE. It’s not just for programmers, though. Vim
is perfect for all kinds of text editing, from composing email to
editing configuration files.

Solution 3

all those are best ways and there is one more way to do this & that’s with head command.

head -n -1 filename.txt


head -n -0 filename.txt

both will give you the same input.

Head command Explanation:

Generally head command used to print the starting lines of the any text file.we can view the text file with

head filename.txt

That will prints the 1st 10 lines of the above text file.

If you want to specific on the number of lines which are to be view then you can use head as

head -n 20 filename.txt

Then in the above text file first 20 lines will be viewed.

If you want to view whole file data with head means then then we can get it by

head -n -0 filename.txt

Hope that above explanation will give you some idea on usage of head.

Solution 4

If the file is rather long, you might want to use

less RESULTS.txt

so that you can navigate through it with directional keys.

Solution 5

Another option is:

tail -n 30 result.txt

to print out the last 30 lines of a large file named result.txt.

Solution 6

Another option:

tail -f your_file

It will show you the last ten lines of your_file. If a process appends something to this file, you see it on your terminal. man tail gives you more on tail.

It’s useful to see what happens with a server when you use this command on a log file.

Press CtrlC to quit when you are done viewing.

Solution 7

There are a lot of alternatives for doing that:

Some of these programs have a lot of parameters, so check that out with –help after the command..

  • cat filename prints the whole file at once
  • more/less filename similar behaviour for see the file in parts
  • tail filename start reading from the tail of the file
  • grep text filename for filtering results

Hope that some of this works for you..

Solution 8

With a terminal text editor: nano /path/to/file/RESULTS.txt

Solution 9

As we seem to be listing all available alternatives of displaying any text file in the terminal, it would be quite fun to introduce pv as technically one valid (but unusual) method, although I would normally use cat instead for most things.

It is in the repositories and so can be installed with sudo apt-get install pv if you don’t have it already.

As the man page notes, pv is very often used to

monitor the progress of data through a pipe…pv will copy each supplied FILE in turn to standard output (- means standard input), or if no FILEs are specified just standard input is copied. This is the same behaviour as cat(1).

With pv you can literally print the file to the screen, and choose the rate (-L) at which it appears. The example below uses a high rate (300), but if you choose a low rate such as -L 50, it will appear as if the computer is typing out the file for you.

pv /etc/apt/sources.list -qL 300

Needless to say you can increase the rate further (-L 8000), and the command becomes very similar to cat, with the output appearing instantaneously.

For more information see man pv or the Ubuntu manpages online.

Solution 10

If you need to edit the content of the file i commonly use nano.

nano filename

Solution 11

Lots of good options provided here already, but another option if you need to edit is emacs:

emacs -nw RESULTS.txt

might not need the -nw, depending. You may also have to apt-get install emacs23 or apt-get install emacs24, or if you don’t have X or don’t want related X dependencies, apt-get install emacs23-nox or apt-get install emacs24-nox.

And in addition to cat and less as mentioned elsewhere, there is more. More is less, because you see a page at a time and can’t scroll via the command itself, but you can scroll with the terminal window, if you have a scrolling terminal window:

more RESULTS.txt

If you’re in bash, you have something similar to cat by doing:

while IFS= read a;do echo "$a";done<RESULTS.txt

Solution 12

The shell programm sed also has an option to print out the contents of a file.

sed -n p RESULTS.txt

So sed walks through every line and prints it to the terminal. But sed also has editing capabilities. For instance if you want to replace each comma with a dot you can write:

sed 's/,/./g' RESULTS.txt

Solution 13

If you just want to read the file content, go in the file directory and type

less RESULTS.txt

If you want to read and edit the text file, from the same directory type

nano RESULTS.txt

The -w switch in the nano command can be inserted before the file name to prevent wrapping of long lines.

Solution 14

Why not.

You can also use

most RESULTS.txt

It’s almost the same as less, but it also supports horizontal scrolling if the file contains long lines – which is really handy.

most is not installed by default, so to use it, you have to first

sudo apt install most

Solution 15

Another more exotic answer is to use grep:

grep . RESULTS.txt

The grep command searches for a every character in the file and prints it out. So basically the complete file is printed out.

Solution 16

or just

vi YourFile

use hjkl buttons to move line left/down/up/right, Esc then :q to quit

and you can PageUp/PageDown

you can also edit it here in a stright way

here you’ll find more link

Note: Use and implement solution 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

Leave a Reply