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Filters and commands in UNIX

Introduction to filters

A filter is a small and specialized program in UNIX that does some manipulation of the text of a file. It accepts input from the standard input processes the input and then send the output to standard output. Standard input is data source for a program, and by default it is text typed in at the keyboard. Therefore it can be directed to another file or another output in program. Standard output is the destination of output from a program, and by default it the display screen. It is used to extract the lines which contain a specific pattern and to arrange the content of a file in a sorted order or to replace the existing characters with other character and so on. It is used to store the intermediate result of a long pipe by using vertical bar (|) and merge two or more files together using filters.

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