dos2unix – Convert DOS format text files to Unix format

The dos2unix command is used to convert text files from DOS format to Unix format. DOS and Unix use different line endings, with DOS using a carriage return (CR) and a line feed (LF) at the end of each line, while Unix uses only a line feed (LF). This command is useful when working with text files that were created on a Windows machine and need to be used on a Unix-based system.


The dos2unix command can be used to convert one or more files from DOS to Unix format. The basic syntax is as follows:

dos2unix [options] file1 file2 ...

For example, to convert a file named example.txt from DOS to Unix format, you would use the following command:

dos2unix example.txt

You can also use wildcards to convert multiple files at once. For example, to convert all text files in the current directory from DOS to Unix format, you would use the following command:

dos2unix *.txt

By default, dos2unix will overwrite the original file with the converted version. If you want to keep the original file and create a new file with the converted content, you can use the -n or --newfile option. For example:

dos2unix -n example.txt

This will create a new file named example.txt.1 with the converted content.


The following options are available for the dos2unix command:

Option Description
-h, --help Display help message and exit.
-V, --version Display version information and exit.
-n, --newfile Create a new file with the converted content instead of overwriting the original file.
-k, --keepdate Keep the original file timestamp.
-c, --convmode Set the conversion mode. The default is ascii, but you can also use 7bit, iso, mac, or html.
-q, --quiet Quiet mode. Suppress all warnings and error messages.
-f, --force Force conversion of binary files.
-i, --in-place Overwrite the original file with the converted content.

Troubleshooting Tips

If you encounter errors when using the dos2unix command, here are some troubleshooting tips:

  • Make sure the file you are trying to convert exists and is readable.
  • Check that you have permission to write to the directory where the file is located.
  • If the file is a binary file or has non-standard line endings, use the -f option to force conversion.


  • The dos2unix command can also be used in reverse to convert Unix format text files to DOS format using the unix2dos command.