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unbuffer - unbuffer output


unbuffer program [ args ]


unbuffer disables the output buffering that occurs when program output is redirected. For example, suppose you are watching the output from a fifo by running it through od and then more.
    od -c /tmp/fifo | more
You will not see anything until a full page of output has been produced.

You can disable this automatic buffering as follows:

    unbuffer od -c /tmp/fifo | more
When you have a pipeline, unbuffer must be applied to each element except the last (since that doesn't have its output redirected). Example:
        unbuffer p1 | unbuffer p2 | unbuffer p3 | p4


The man page is longer than the program.

See Also

"Exploring Expect: A Tcl-Based Toolkit for Automating Interactive Programs" by Don Libes, O'Reilly and Associates, January 1995.


Don Libes, National Institute of Standards and Technology

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