Can the output of one command be piped to two other commands?

Question

How can I pipe the output of one command to the input of two other commands simultaneously?

Answer

It sounds like the tee command will do what you want.

The key is to use

>( )

for process substitution. With tee, use the following pattern:

tee >(proc1) >(proc2) >(proc3) | proc4

So if you wanted to use the output of ls as input to two different grep programs, save the output of each grep to different files, and pipe all of the results through less, try:

ls -A | tee >(grep ^[.] > hidden-files) >(grep -v ^[.] > normal-files) | less

The results of the ls -A will “piped” into both greps. The file hidden-files will have the contents from the output of the first grep, and normal-files will have the results of the second grep. All of the files will be shown in the pager less.

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Answered by Ben