allows you to do precisely that.
To see the first 10 lines of a file do:
If you want any other number of lines, say 15, do as in this example:
head -15 file-name
In case you prefer to see the first 30 bytes of a file you can do
head -c 30 file-name
You can give more than one file name in the command line.
You might wonder why you want to look at the beginning of a file. Let me give you an example: suppose you have several HTML files and you want to know if the first line (in each file) has the DOCTYPE information. Then you can look at the first line of each file with a command similar to this:
head -1 *.html
The command tail behaves in a similar way except that looks at the end of the file. So
will produce the last 10 lines of a file; called as
tail -15 file-name
will give the last 15 lines, while
tail -c 30 file-name
will give you the last 30 bytes of it.
There is one more useful option for tail; for example, if you do
tail +3 file-name
you will get all lines beginning at the 3rd line of the file.
An example of usage of tail is to check that all your HTML files end with . You can check the last line of each file with a command like this:
tail -1 *.html