Provided by: bsdextrautils_2.38-4ubuntu1_amd64 bug


       column - columnate lists


       column [options] [file ...]


       The column utility formats its input into multiple columns. The util support three modes:

       columns are filled before rows
           This is the default mode (required by backward compatibility).

       rows are filled before columns
           This mode is enabled by option -x, --fillrows

           Determine the number of columns the input contains and create a table. This mode is
           enabled by option -t, --table and columns formatting is possible to modify by
           --table-* options. Use this mode if not sure. The output is aligned to the terminal
           width in interactive mode and the 80 columns in non-interactive mode (see
           --output-width for more details).

       Input is taken from file, or otherwise from standard input. Empty lines are ignored and
       all invalid multibyte sequences are encoded by x<hex> convention.


       The argument columns for --table-* options is a comma separated list of the column names
       as defined by --table-columns or it’s column number in order as specified by input. It’s
       possible to mix names and numbers. The special placeholder '0' (e.g. -R0) may be used to
       specify all columns.

       -J, --json
           Use JSON output format to print the table, the option --table-columns is required and
           the option --table-name is recommended.

       -c, --output-width width
           Output is formatted to a width specified as number of characters. The original name of
           this option is --columns; this name is deprecated since v2.30. Note that input longer
           than width is not truncated by default. The default is a terminal width and the 80
           columns in non-interactive mode. The column headers are never truncated.

       -d, --table-noheadings
           Do not print header. This option allows the use of logical column names on the command
           line, but keeps the header hidden when printing the table.

       -o, --output-separator string
           Specify the columns delimiter for table output (default is two spaces).

       -s, --separator separators
           Specify the possible input item delimiters (default is whitespace).

       -t, --table
           Determine the number of columns the input contains and create a table. Columns are
           delimited with whitespace, by default, or with the characters supplied using the
           --output-separator option. Table output is useful for pretty-printing.

       -N, --table-columns names
           Specify the columns names by comma separated list of names. The names are used for the
           table header or to address column in option arguments.

       -l, --table-columns-limit number
           Specify maximal number of the input columns. The last column will contain all
           remaining line data if the limit is smaller than the number of the columns in the
           input data.

       -R, --table-right columns
           Right align text in the specified columns.

       -T, --table-truncate columns
           Specify columns where text can be truncated when necessary, otherwise very long table
           entries may be printed on multiple lines.

       -E, --table-noextreme columns
           Specify columns where is possible to ignore unusually long (longer than average) cells
           when calculate column width. The option has impact to the width calculation and table
           formatting, but the printed text is not affected.

           The option is used for the last visible column by default.

       -e, --table-header-repeat
           Print header line for each page.

       -W, --table-wrap columns
           Specify columns where is possible to use multi-line cell for long text when necessary.

       -H, --table-hide columns
           Don’t print specified columns. The special placeholder '-' may be used to hide all
           unnamed columns (see --table-columns).

       -O, --table-order columns
           Specify columns order on output.

       -n, --table-name name
           Specify the table name used for JSON output. The default is "table".

       -L, --keep-empty-lines
           Preserve whitespace-only lines in the input. The default is ignore empty lines at all.
           This option’s original name was --table-empty-lines but is now deprecated because it
           gives the false impression that the option only applies to table mode.

       -r, --tree column
           Specify column to use tree-like output. Note that the circular dependencies and other
           anomalies in child and parent relation are silently ignored.

       -i, --tree-id column
           Specify column with line ID to create child-parent relation.

       -p, --tree-parent column
           Specify column with parent ID to create child-parent relation.

       -x, --fillrows
           Fill rows before filling columns.

       -h, --help
           Display help text and exit.

       -V, --version
           Print version and exit.


       The environment variable COLUMNS is used to determine the size of the screen if no other
       information is available.


       The column command appeared in 4.3BSD-Reno.


       Version 2.23 changed the -s option to be non-greedy, for example:

           printf "a:b:c\n1::3\n" | column -t -s ':'

       Old output:

           a  b  c
           1  3

       New output (since util-linux 2.23):

           a  b  c
           1     3

       Historical versions of this tool indicated that "rows are filled before columns" by
       default, and that the -x option reverses this. This wording did not reflect the actual
       behavior, and it has since been corrected (see above). Other implementations of column may
       continue to use the older documentation, but the behavior should be identical in any case.


       Print fstab with header line and align number to the right:

           sed 's/#.*//' /etc/fstab | column --table --table-columns SOURCE,TARGET,TYPE,OPTIONS,PASS,FREQ --table-right PASS,FREQ

       Print fstab and hide unnamed columns:

           sed 's/#.*//' /etc/fstab | column --table --table-columns SOURCE,TARGET,TYPE --table-hide -

       Print a tree:

           echo -e '1 0 A\n2 1 AA\n3 1 AB\n4 2 AAA\n5 2 AAB' | column --tree-id 1 --tree-parent 2 --tree 3
           1  0  A
           2  1  |-AA
           4  2  | |-AAA
           5  2  | `-AAB
           3  1  `-AB


       colrm(1), ls(1), paste(1), sort(1)


       For bug reports, use the issue tracker at


       The column command is part of the util-linux package which can be downloaded from Linux
       Kernel Archive <>.