Less is More

In a Linux system (and in Solaris 5.8, 5.9, 10, Solaris in general apparently), there are two (identical? opposite?) commands that are very easy enough to remember. How is that? Well, first the command names speak for itself or do exactly what it is called. What are those commands? Well, they are:

more and and less.


The more command is a filter for paging through text one screenful at a time. For example if your viewing one large text file, you could use more to view the content of the file one screenfull at a time.

# more /path/to/file/filename

more also has an interactive mode that uses the commands based on vi. So if you’re viewing a file using more, it will pause on the first screenfull and just in case you would want to ‘search’ for a particular string you could use the slash (‘/’) or the question mark (‘?’) just like you would if you’re using vi.


The command less, is just like more but unlike more which only goes one way, less allows backward movement in the file as well as forward movement.

Also, since more is a lot primitive than less, less also has tons of command line options. See it’s man pages for details.

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