The < operator


#1

Hi Codecademy,

I do not understand this at all:

Question: Redirect the contents of gymnastics.txt as standard input for the cat command.

Answer: cat < gymnastics.txt

I understand the >> and the > operators. But, I am at a loss for the < and the << operators. Does this mean that the contents of gymnastics.txt will go into cat? What happens when we use cat again?

Thanks,

Eric


#2

There is no << as i know. < works like a function. It makes gymnastics.txt to use itself as cat gymnastics.txt.
so if you type: “cat < gymnastics.txt” (then press enter) then you type: gymnastics.txt it will output the gymnastics file. But then again I’m no such a bash wizard


#3

I figured I’d go through the Command Line training and see if I could learn anything knew. I use bash on a daily basis so I’m no novice. I’ve never heard of anyone using “cat < lakes.txt”. When I saw that I was confused. “cat lakes.txt” and “cat < lakes.txt” give the same output. I’m guessing it’s in there for some reason that I may run into later. But as far as I know the “<” is completely extraneous and not necessary.
You should be fine not using it. “cat lakes.txt” works just fine.
If I have some epiphany later I’ll edit my post.