MirBSD manpage: tsort(1)

TSORT(1)                     BSD Reference Manual                     TSORT(1)


     tsort - topological sort of a directed graph


     tsort [-flqrvw] [-h file] [file]


     tsort takes a list of pairs of node names representing directed arcs in a
     graph and prints the nodes in topological order on standard output. That
     is, the input describes a partial ordering relation, from which tsort
     computes a total order compatible with this partial ordering.

     Input is taken from the named file, or from standard input if no file is

     Node names in the input are separated by white space and there must be an
     even number of node pairs.

     Presence of a node in a graph can be represented by an arc from the node
     to itself. This is useful when a node is not connected to any other

     If the graph contains a cycle (and therefore cannot be properly sorted),
     one of the arcs in the cycle is ignored and the sort continues. Cycles
     are reported on standard error.

     The options are as follows:

     -f      Resolve ambiguities by selecting nodes based on the order of ap-
             pearance of the first component of the pairs.

     -h file
             Use file, which holds an ordered list of nodes, to resolve ambi-
             guities. In case of duplicates, the first entry is chosen.

     -l      Search for and display the longest cycle. Can take a very long
             time, as it may need to solve an NP-complete problem.

     -q      Do not display informational messages about cycles. This is pri-
             marily intended for building libraries, where optimal ordering is
             not critical, and cycles occur often.

     -r      Reverse the ordering relation.

     -v      Inform on the exact number of edges broken while breaking cycles.
             If a hints file was used, inform on seen nodes absent from that

     -w      Exit with exit code the number of cycles tsort had to break.


     Faced with the input:

           a b
           b c
           b d
           d f
           c e

     tsort outputs:


     which is one total ordering compatible with the individual relations.
     There is no unicity, another compatible total ordering would be:


     tsort is commonly used to analyze dependencies and find a correct build
     order in a static way, whereas make(1) accomplishes the same task in a
     dynamic way.


     ar(1), lorder(1), make(1)

     Donald E. Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming, Vol. 1, pp 258-268,


     A tsort command appeared in Version 7 AT&T UNIX. This tsort command was
     completely rewritten by Marc Espie for OpenBSD, to finally use the well-
     known optimal algorithms for topological sorting.

MirBSD #10-current             November 1, 1999                              1

Generated on 2022-12-24 01:00:14 by $MirOS: src/scripts/roff2htm,v 1.113 2022/12/21 23:14:31 tg Exp $ — This product includes material provided by mirabilos.

These manual pages and other documentation are copyrighted by their respective writers; their sources are available at the project’s CVSweb, AnonCVS and other mirrors. The rest is Copyright © 2002–2022 MirBSD.

This manual page’s HTML representation is supposed to be valid XHTML/1.1; if not, please send a bug report — diffs preferred.

Kontakt / Impressum & Datenschutzerklärung