count - count the number of elements of a list


count STRING1 STRING2 ...
COMMAND | count
count [...] < FILE


count prints the number of arguments that were passed to it, plus the number of newlines passed to it via stdin. This is usually used to find out how many elements an environment variable list contains, or how many lines there are in a text file.

count does not accept any options, not even -h or --help.

count exits with a non-zero exit status if no arguments were passed to it, and with zero if at least one argument was passed.

Note that, like wc -l, reading from stdin counts newlines, so echo -n foo | count will print 0.


count $PATH
# Returns the number of directories in the users PATH variable.

count *.txt
# Returns the number of files in the current working directory
# ending with the suffix '.txt'.

git ls-files --others --exclude-standard | count
# Returns the number of untracked files in a git repository

printf '%s\n' foo bar | count baz
# Returns 3 (2 lines from stdin plus 1 argument)

count < /etc/hosts
# Counts the number of entries in the hosts file