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Getting started with the Linux tac command

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Linux

The tac command is essentially the cat command, but its purpose is to concatenate files in reverse. Like cat, it has a convenient fallback mode to print to standard output (STDOUT) if no output file is provided, making it one of those commands that are more often used as a lazy pager—like less and more—than the function it is named for.

The cat command is often overused and abused, and cat is often taken as a joke command like ddate or cowsay. It often gets paraded out in April Fool’s day articles detailing stupid terminal tricks. So, it may come as a surprise that tac actually has a legitimate reason to exist.

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