Bryan Correll Bryan Correll - 4 months ago 16
Bash Question

UNIX: Sort files by number/version without 0 padding

Ultimately, I wanted to set the latest version as an environment variable, so supplementing the selected answer (which provided me the correct sorting):

export LATEST_VERSION=$(printf '%s\n' * | sort -rV | head -1)





I have a directory with the following directory names:

ls -1r .
2.0
1.8
16.1
16.0
15.5
15.0
14.5
14.1
14.0
1.3
1.2
1.1.5
1.1.3
1.1.2


I would like to sort them to get the latest release version:

ls -1r . | head -1
16.1


So the underlying order should look like this:

16.1
16.0
15.5
15.0
14.5
14.1
14.0
2.0
1.8
1.3
1.2
1.1.5
1.1.3
1.1.2


Any help would be greatly appreciated. Simpler the better, but I'm open to any solution. Thanks!

Answer

Modern GNU sort offers a -V flag for sorting according to version number rules:

$ printf '%s\n' * | sort -rV
16.1
16.0
15.5
15.0
14.5
14.1
14.0
2.0
1.8
1.3
1.2
1.1.5
1.1.3
1.1.2

Note that the above does not use ls. As a general rule, you shouldn't parse the output of ls(1).

Documentation

From man sort:

-V, --version-sort
natural sort of (version) numbers within text

The above is from the GNU man page.

FreeBSD's sort also supports -V.

OSX

Apple's sort is a GNU sort from the year 2005 which predates support for the -V option. A work-around can be found here. (Hat tips: l'L'l, mklement0)

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