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30.1 Version sort overview

version sort ordering (and similarly, natural sort ordering) is a method to sort items such as file names and lines of text in an order that feels more natural to people, when the text contains a mixture of letters and digits.

Standard sorting usually does not produce the order that one expects because comparisons are made on a character-by-character basis.

Compare the sorting of the following items:

Alphabetical sort:           Version Sort:

a1                           a1
a120                         a2
a13                          a13
a2                           a120

version sort functionality in GNU coreutils is available in the ‘ls -v’, ‘ls --sort=version’, ‘sort -V’, ‘sort --version-sort’ commands.