30.1 Version sort overview

Version sort puts items such as file names and lines of text in an order that feels natural to people, when the text contains a mixture of letters and digits.

Lexicographic 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:

Lexicographic 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’, and ‘sort --version-sort’ commands.