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Old 07-12-2005, 10:40 AM   #1
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Austria
Distribution: Debian testing
Posts: 111

Rep: Reputation: 17
Ls and cut problem

Hi folks,

Coreutils 5.2.1 from Sarge stable.
ls -alR /home > overview is supposed to yield a neatly tab-delimited output of all columns in file overview, isn't it?
cut --fields=1-5 overview > overview1 should result in only the first 5 columns being written to overview1, isn't it?
Well, it ISN'T.
Whatever I tried with parameters and also piping 'ls' directly to 'cut', I get no desired result. In all cases the output of 'cut' is the complete 'ls'-overview. Only if I add -s to 'cut' I get a different reslult, an output of _exactly_ 0 bytes, hahaha.
Looking with a hexeditor into overview, yes you are right already, does not show one single tab wherever, only spaces to pad for a nice human-reading.
Using in 'cut' --bytes=1-35 (as example) in stead of --fields=1-5 moreoften shows an unusable result (last column cut off or next column already in the picture) as it gives the desired output:
-rw-r--r-- 1 peter peter 82123
drwxr-xr-x 2 peter peter 48 Fe

a) has anyone of you encountered the same problem?
b) has anyone of you maybe a solution to add the tabs in 'ls'? Or is this a more or less severe bug in 'ls'?

Thanks for your help.
Old 07-12-2005, 01:20 PM   #2
koen plessers
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Belgium
Distribution: Mint
Posts: 191

Rep: Reputation: 30

Indeed, what looks like a tab on first site, is one or more spaces.

More info on the cut command can be found on

Have a lot of fun

Koen Plessers
Old 07-14-2005, 07:10 AM   #3
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Austria
Distribution: Debian testing
Posts: 111

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 17
[QUOTE]Originally posted by koen plessers
[B]Hello Koen,

More info on the cut command can be found on

Tnx, a very usefull site.

Groetjes uit Oostenrijk.


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