top of page

'cat' Command: A Visual for the Curious Beginner

'cat' Command Flow Chart: Basic File & Standard Input

If you're learning Linux commands and find yourself struggling with the distinction between using the cat command with filenames as arguments AND using it to read from standard input, this visual is for you.

This flowchart visually delineates these two operations (basic file vs. standard input) with the use of the ‘cat’ command and provides a clear reference that is beneficial for beginners.

When you provide filenames as arguments: cat acts as a reader, displaying file contents directly in your terminal

Without filenames as arguments: cat becomes a receiver and ‘listens’, taking in what you type or what is piped from other sources and then outputting it accordingly

Use Cases:

Even the ‘cat’ command has use cases. Here are a few:

*️⃣Viewing contents of files *️⃣Combining files *️⃣Appending files *️⃣Creating a new file *️⃣Copying a file *️⃣Scripting and piping *️⃣Standard input redirection

Feel free to save and share this flowchart as a pdf version:

pdf_CAT Command Flow Chart_11-3-23
Download PDF • 64KB

Be sure to give credit!


🔗 For a more personal connection, connect with me on LinkedIn to network and grow together. 🔗To receive my latest projects, playbooks, and posts, follow my Medium page, and Subscribe to get email notifications when I post new stories.

6 views0 comments


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page