tee command is used to read the standard input and write and writes to both standard output and one or more files at the same time. Generally,
tee is used with combination of other commands through piping. In this tutorial, we’ll cover the basics of using the tee command.
tee Command Syntax
Below is the basic syntax of
tee [OPTIONS] [FILE]
- Here, options are:
--append) – It will append to the given file instead of overwrite.
--ignore-interrupts) – Ignore interrupt signals.
- Use tee
--helpto view all available options.
- FILE – One or more files. Each of which the output data is written to.
How to Use the tee Command
tee command is used to display the standard output (
stdout) of a program and write it in a file.
For example, we will get the disk space details using df command and store the output to the
output.txt file by piping with tee command:
df -h | tee output.txt
Filesystem Size Used Avail Use% Mounted on
udev 984M 0 984M 0% /dev
tmpfs 200M 624K 199M 1% /run
/dev/vda1 25G 3.8G 21G 16% /
tmpfs 997M 0 997M 0% /dev/shm
tmpfs 5.0M 0 5.0M 0% /run/lock
tmpfs 997M 0 997M 0% /sys/fs/cgroup
/dev/vda15 105M 3.6M 101M 4% /boot/efi
tmpfs 200M 0 200M 0% /run/user/1000
You can view the content of the
output.txt file using the cat command.
Write to Multiple File
You can also use
tee command to write to multiple files. Pass the list of files separated by space as arguments:
command | tee file1.txt file2.txt file3.txt
Append to File
--append) option to append the output to the file. The
tee command will overwrite the specified file.
command | tee -a file.txt
You can use
–ignore-interrupts) option to ignore interrupts. It’s useful when stopping the command during execution with
Ctrl+C and want to exit gracefully.
command | tee -i file.txt
Hide the Output
To hide the standard output, redirect it to
command | tee file.txt >/dev/null
Using tee in Conjunction with sudo
When you try to write to a file owned by a root or sudo user, it will throw permission denied error. You should perform the redirection using sudo user.
sudo echo "newline" > /etc/nginx/file.conf
It will show something like this:
bash: /etc/nginx/file.conf: Permission denied
Simply prepend sudo before the tee command as shown below:
echo "newline" | sudo tee -a /etc/file.conf
echo command will pass the output to the
tee command and elevate to sudo permissions and write to the file.
tee in conjunction with
sudo allows you to write to files owned by other users.
tee command reads from standard input and writes it to standard output and one ore more files.
If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to leave a comment.