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Re: sort (coreutils) 4.5.3

From: Bob Proulx
Subject: Re: sort (coreutils) 4.5.3
Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2003 23:29:23 -0600
User-agent: Mutt/1.3.28i

Bobby L Morris wrote:
> When I sorted a file with the sort command that is distributed with
> Red Hat Linux 9, ( /bin/sort from package coreutils 4.5.3) the output
> file was not consistent with the result obtained by using the sort
> command
> from another Unix system (AIX 5L). Also when I used the perl sort
> function I got the same results as when I used AIX 5L.

Thank you for your report.  Thanks especially for taking the time to
include test cases so that we had the ability to recreate the problem.

However at 2.3 MB the attached files were quite a bit larger than
should be sent without preamble.  Many people read the bug list
through slower connections and large messages such as that can cause
quite a bit of constipation of the mail connection.  In the future if
you could reduce the size of your test case to a smaller size it would
be most appreciated.  Usually problems such as that can be illustrated
in less than a page of text.

Meanwhile, I can't recreate the trouble you describe with those files.
Therefore I suspect this may have something to do with LANG in your
environment.  (LANG is almost always the problem with sort on RH and
so I always suspect it.)  What is your locale setting?  Does changing
it to "C" or "POSIX" correct your problem?

Please read this faq, look for "Sort does not sort" for the entry in


See the standards documentation for more information on the locale
variables with regards to sort.


You can see which locale you are configured to use with the 'locale'


Typically this is set with the LANG variable.  RH does not give you
the option not to set this variable and therefore it surprises people
when RH systems sort with a non-standard sort order.  It is probably
the number one reported bug in RH systems.  You can unset lang to
return to the standard default and I believe all sorting operations
will return to what you expect.

  unset LANG

If that is not your problem then please send another followup to the
list.  But I am pretty sure this is your problem.


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