In the world of Linux and Unix, the terminal is a powerful tool that gives you full control over your system. One of the most common tasks you might find yourself needing to perform is viewing the contents of a file directly in the terminal. This article will guide you through the process of displaying all lines of a file in the terminal using command-line tools such as
To show all lines of a file in the terminal, you can use the
more command. Simply type
less filename or
more filename to view the contents of the file. Use the arrow keys or spacebar to navigate through the file, and press
q to exit.
less offers more advanced features and better navigation options, while
more only allows scrolling down.
less command is a standard utility in most Unix-like operating systems. It allows you to view the contents of a file and navigate through it easily. To use
less, simply type the command followed by the name of the file you wish to view:
In the above command,
myfile.txt is the name of the file you want to display. Replace this with the name of your actual file.
Once the command is executed, the contents of the file will be displayed in your terminal. You can navigate through the file using the arrow keys – press the down arrow key to scroll down one line at a time, or press the spacebar to scroll down one page at a time. To exit
less, simply press the
Advanced Usage of
less command also comes with several options that can enhance your file viewing experience. For example, if you want to prevent the screen from being cleared when you exit
less, you can use the
less -X /var/log/syslog
-X option is particularly useful when viewing log files or other data that you want to remain visible in the terminal after you exit
Another useful option is
-i, which makes searches case-insensitive. This is handy when you’re looking for a specific string in the file but aren’t sure about the casing:
less -i myfile.txt
-N option will display line numbers, which can be helpful when you’re trying to locate specific sections of a file:
less -N myfile.txt
For a full list of
less options, you can refer to the manual by running
man less or use the
less --help command.
Another command you can use to view the contents of a file in the terminal is
more. This command works similarly to
less, but with one key difference:
more only allows you to scroll down, not up.
more, type the command followed by the name of the file:
more will display the contents of the file in your terminal. You can scroll down one line at a time using the Enter key, or one page at a time using the spacebar. To exit
In this article, we’ve covered two essential command-line tools for viewing the contents of a file in a Unix-like terminal:
more. While both commands are useful,
less offers more advanced features and better navigation options, making it the preferred choice for most users. However,
more can be handy when you only need to scroll down through a file. By mastering these commands, you’ll be able to handle files in the terminal with ease and efficiency.
To scroll up in
less, you can use the up arrow key or press the
Yes, you can search for a specific word or phrase in
less by typing
/ followed by the word or phrase you want to search for. Press Enter to perform the search, and use
n to go to the next occurrence or
N to go to the previous occurrence.
less without viewing the entire file, you can press
q at any time.
Yes, you can specify the number of lines to display in
less by using the
-N option followed by the desired number of lines. For example, to display 10 lines at a time, you can use
less -N10 myfile.txt.
Yes, you can navigate through a file using line numbers in
: to enter the line number prompt, then type the line number you want to jump to and press Enter.
To scroll to the end of a file in
more, simply press the spacebar until you reach the end.
more does not have a built-in search function. It only allows you to scroll through the file.
more without viewing the entire file, you can press
q at any time.
more does not have an option to display line numbers. It is a simpler tool compared to
less and does not provide advanced features like line numbering.