sort is a standard command that sorts and outputs the input it was given.

$ sort names

Useful Options / Examples

By default, a blank space is the default field separator. This can be changed with the -t flag, and following it with a $'\t' will let you use tab separated values

$ sort -k2,2 -t $'\t' phonebook 
  Doe, John	 555-1234
  Fogarty, Suzie 555-2314
  Doe, Jane	 555-3214
  Avery, Cory	 555-4132
  Smith, Brett	 555-4321

The -n flag sorts numerical input.

$ sort -n numbers

The -k flag specifies the column by which your input gets sorted. n specifies sort will sort numbers, and -k 2 specifies that the second column will be used for sorting.

$ sort -k 2n ages
  Derrick 25
  Fabio   23
  Aaron   20
  Brian   19

The -k x,y option lets you sort on a column that might be composed of more than one field. In this example, the list is sorted by pay, and ties are broken by name.

$ sort -k2,2 -k1,1 n pay
  Aaron   1000
  Brian   1000
  Fabio   2000
  Derrick 3000

The -r option reverses the results of the sort.

For more useful flags, type $ man sort