In Unix, how do I redirect error messages?

Note:
This information pertains primarily to Bourne-like shells, such as sh, ksh, and bash.

To redirect standard error messages to a file, enter:

  command 2> file

Replace command with the command you want to execute and file with the file to which you want to direct the errors, for example:

  gunzip * 2> ~/errors

If you wish to suppress error messages, enter:

  command 2>&-

If you wish to redirect error messages to standard output, enter:

  command 2>&1

You can direct both standard error and standard out messages to an output file by entering the following:

  command > file 2>&1

The csh and tcsh shells have substantially less flexible redirection capabilities. However, from sh or tcsh you can invoke a Bourne-like shell to run a command that redirects standard error messages. To redirect standard error messages, enter the following:

  ksh -c 'commands'

You can use sh or bash in the place of ksh. Replace commands with redirection syntax, for example:

  ksh -c 'ls -l foo 2> ~/notfound'

At Indiana University, for personal or departmental Linux or Unix systems support, see At IU, how do I get support for Linux or Unix?

This is document agvw in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2017-05-16 11:53:14.

Contact us

For help or to comment, email the UITS Support Center.