Create a file from terminal in Linux

David Y.

The Problem

How can I create a new file from a Linux terminal window (i.e. shell)?

The Solution

The simplest way to do this is by using the touch command:

touch new-file.txt

This will create an empty file with the provided name in the current directory.

To create a file containing some text, we can redirect the output of a command using the > operator:

echo "Hello world" > hello-world.txt

We can also do this interactively using cat:

cat > new-file.txt

After pressing Enter, we can type some text for the file contents. Once we’re done, pressing Enter and then Ctrl+D will save and close the file.

Finally, we can create a new file using a terminal-based text editor such as vi or nano:

vi filename.txt
nano filename.txt

Note that this last method will only create a file if we save before exiting (:w in vi or Ctrl+O in nano).

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