Poor man's unsort (randomize lines)

while read l; do echo $RANDOM "$l"; done | sort -n | cut -d " " -f 2-
If you need to randomize the lines in a file, but have an old sort commands that doesn't support the -R option, this could be helpful. It's easy enough to remember so that you can create it as a script and use that. It ain't real fast. It ain't safe. It ain't super random. Do not use it on untrusted data. It requires bash for the $RANDOM variable to work.
Sample Output
$ echo -e a\\nb\\nc | while read l; do echo $RANDOM "$l"; done | sort -n | cut -d " " -f 2-
c
a
b

0
By: ketil
2010-02-03 22:36:34

2 Alternatives + Submit Alt

What Others Think

For linux users, shuf does the same thing, and is a part of GNU coreutils.
eightmillion · 436 weeks and 5 days ago

What do you think?

Any thoughts on this command? Does it work on your machine? Can you do the same thing with only 14 characters?

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