less [options] [filename]

less is a program for paging through files or other output. It was written in reaction to the perceived primitiveness of more (hence its name). Some commands may be preceded by a number.


The lesskey command configures keybindings for less. See lesskey(1) for more information on it.


-[z]num, --window=num

Set number of lines to scroll to num. Default is one screenful. A negative num sets the number to num lines less than the current number.


Run command on startup. If command is a number, jump to that line. The option ++ applies this command to each file in the command-line list.

-?, --help

Print help screen. Ignore all other options; do not page through file.

-a, --search-screen

When searching, begin after last line displayed. (Default is to search from second line displayed.)

-bbuffers, -buffers=buffers

Use buffers buffers for each file (default is 10). Buffers are 1 KB in size.

-B, --auto-buffers

Do not automatically allocate buffers for data read from a pipe. If -b specifies a number of buffers, allocate that many. If necessary, allow information from previous screens to be lost.

-c, --clear-screen

Redraw screen from top, not bottom.


Redraw screen by clearing it and then redrawing from top.

-d, --dumb

Suppress dumb-terminal error messages.

-e, --quit-at-eof

Automatically exit after reaching EOF twice.


Automatically exit after reaching EOF once.

-f, --force

Force opening ...

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