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Mistakenly i run this command

cat /etc/*

want to know what it can effect on my Linux system

what i was wanted to see the distribution of my sytem so

cat /etc/*-release

when i run this command it said that no such directory exist so tried the above command . and stopped the above command in between , does the above command cat /etc/* can do any bad effect .

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Handy tip: No harm as such, but sometimes if you cat a binary file your terminal will look all screwed up afterwards (until you close the window and reopen). You can fix that by (blindly) typing "reset". – Sirex Sep 15 '11 at 7:00

It just reads through every file in /etc/ directory. Does not cause any harm, it's a read-only operation.

To see what * actually expands to, try

cd /etc
echo *
share|improve this answer for more information about cat. tl;dr: cat echoes contents of files (or pipes), does not do anything to the files itself. – gnur Sep 15 '11 at 7:58

CAT Command: Allows you to look, modify or combine a file.

But as per your above command nothing to worry.

For to see the distribution info run

$ cat /etc/issue

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