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Re: sort utility

From: Bob Proulx
Subject: Re: sort utility
Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2005 09:21:14 -0600
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.9i

John J. Herda wrote:
> I am trying to get an ASCII sort and am having great
> troubles and frustration.  It appears that there is no
> switch to force an ASCII sort, only for other kinds of
> sorts.  It appears that environment variables: LC_ALL,
> LC_COLLATE, LC_CTYPE, and LANG all influence how sort
> works and that one interferes with another.  Before I
> rebooted setting LC_COLLATE=C seemed to make it work
> right, I think.  Anyway, I had it working right then I
> rebooted and now it does not work right.  I do not
> know why, do you?  Could you, please, help me?  

The LC_ALL variable overrides all other locale setting variables.
Setting it to C should definitly cause sort to sort in a standard
order.  However as you note setting LC_COLLATE should also set the
sorting order.

Use the 'locale' command to see what variables are affecting your
environment.  I think you have probably set LC_ALL and missed it when
double checking.


Unset LC_ALL, set LC_COLLATE to C, then check if sort is behaving as
you expect.

  unset LC_ALL
  export LC_COLLATE=C

As far as rebooting is concerned, intrinsically it has no effect on
sort.  Only the environment and options to sort affect it.  I think
your rebooting is simply confusing you.  If you are rebooting to fix
sort then I think you misunderstand.  At the worst if you have changed
your login files (e.g. ~/.bash_profile) you might want to log out of
your login and log back in again to get a new environment as specified
by your login files.  Logging out in the GNU/UNIX world is about the
same as rebooting.

You seem to be aware of the issues but I will reference the FAQ anyway.


Look for "Sort does not sort in normal order!"


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