parsort - Sort (big files) in parallel


parsort options for sort


parsort uses GNU sort to sort in parallel. It works just like sort but faster on inputs with more than 1 M lines, if you have a multicore machine.

Hopefully these ideas will make it into GNU sort in the future.


Same as sort. Except:

  • --parallel=N

Change the number of sorts run concurrently to N. N will be increased to number of files if parsort is given more than N files.


Sort files:

parsort *.txt > sorted.txt

Sort stdin (standard input) numerically:

cat numbers | parsort -n > sorted.txt


parsort is faster on files than on stdin (standard input), because different parts of a file can be read in parallel.

On a 48 core machine you should see a speedup of 3x over sort.


Copyright (C) 2020-2024 Ole Tange, and Free Software Foundation, Inc.


Copyright (C) 2012 Free Software Foundation, Inc.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or at your option any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program. If not, see <>.


parsort uses sort, bash, and parallel.