When you need to view the contents of a longer text file from the command line, you can use
less. This produces a paged output, meaning that output stops each time your screen is full. You can then use your up- and down-arrow keys and page-up and page-down keys to scroll through the contents of the file. Then, use
q to quit and return to the command line:
matthew@seymour:~$ less filename
There was a program that did give paged output in the early days of UNIX called
more. It was the first paged output program but did not include the ability to scroll up and down.
less was written to add that capability and was named as a bit of hacker humor because “
more.” You can also use
more, but today it ...