Bat is a cat command clone with advanced syntax highlighting for a large number of programming and markup languages and it also comes with Git integration to show file modifications. Its other features include automatic paging, file concatenation, themes for syntax highlighting and various styles for presenting output.


How to Install Bat (A cat clone) in Linux


On Debian and other Debian-based Linux distributions, you can download the latest .deb package from the release page or use the following the wget command to download and install it as shown.

$ wget
$ sudo dpkg -i bat_0.8.0_amd64.deb


On Arch Linux, you can install it from the Community repository as shown.

$ sudo pacman -S bat


After installing bat, simply run it in the same way you normally run cat command, for example, the following command will display the specified file content with syntax highlighting.

$ bat bin/bashscripts/sysadmin/


To display multiple files at ones, use the following command.

$ bat domains.txt hosts


You can only print a specified range of lines (for example print lines 13 to 24 only) for a file or each file, using the  --line-range switch as shown.

$ bat --line-range 13:24 bin/bashscripts/sysadmin/


To show all supported language names and file extensions, use the –list-languages option.

$ bat --list-languages


Then explicitly set a language for syntax highlighting using the -l switch.

$ bat -l Python httpie/


You can also read from stdin as in this example.

$ ls -l | bat


To see a list of available themes for syntax highlighting, use the --list-themes option.

$ bat --list-themes


After you have picked a theme to use, enable it with the --theme option.

$ bat --theme=Github


Note that these settings will be lost after a reboot, to make the changes permanent, export the BAT_THEME environment variable in the file ~/.bashrc (user specific) or /etc/bash.bashrc (system-wide) by adding the following line in it.

export BAT_THEME="Github"


To only show line numbers without any other decorations, use the -n switch.

$ bat -n domains.txt hosts


Bat uses “less” as the default pager. However, you can specify when to use the pager, with the --paging and the possible values include *auto*, never and always.

$ bat –paging always


In addition, you can define the pager using the PAGER or BAT_PAGER (this takes precedence) environment variables, in a similar fashion as the BAT_THEME env variable, as explained above. Setting these variables with empty values disables the pager.

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