Output the first part of files, prints the first part (10 lines by default) of each file.

      head [-n count] [options] [file ...]

      head [-c bytes] [options] [file ...]


     Return the first count of lines from the file. (must be the first option specified).

This option is only recognized if it is specified first. Count is a decimal number optionally followed by a size letter ('b', 'k',
'm' for bytes, Kilobytes or Megabytes) , or 'l' to mean count by lines, or other option letters ('cqv').

  -c bytes
       Print the first bytes bytes, instead of initial lines. 
       Appending 'b' multiplies bytes by 512, 'k' by 1024, and 'm' by 1048576.

  -n count
       Output the first count lines.

       Never print file name headers.

       Always print file name headers.

If no files are given (or if given a file of '-') head will read from standard input.

If more than one file is specified, 'head' will print a one-line header consisting of ==> FILE NAME <== before the output for each file.

Two option formats are accepted: the new one, in which numbers are arguments to the options ('-q -n 1'), and the old one, in which the number precedes any option letters ('-1q')


Extract the first 85 lines from a file:

head -85 file.txt

Extract lines 40-50 from a file, first using head to get the first 50 lines then tail to get the last 10:

head -50 file.txt | tail -10

List the 5 largest subdirectories in the current directory:

du -hs */ | sort | head -n 5

"If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you..." ~ Rudyard Kipling

Related linux commands

csplit - Split a file into context-determined pieces.
cut - Divide a file into several parts.
fmt - Reformat paragraph text.
paste - Merge lines of files.
split - Split a file into fixed-size pieces.
tail - Output the last part of files.
Equivalent Windows command: FOR /F "skip=nlines" - Loop through items in a text file.

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