Terminal pager

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Screenshot of more, a popular terminal pager Unix more output.png
Screenshot of more, a popular terminal pager

A terminal pager, or paging program, is a computer program used to view (but not modify) the contents of a text file moving down the file one line or one screen at a time. Some, but not all, pagers allow movement up a file. A popular cross-platform terminal pager is more. More can move forwards and backwards in text files but cannot move backwards in pipes. [1] less is a more advanced pager that allows movement forward and backward, and contains extra functions such as search. [2]

Computer program Instructions to be executed by a computer

A computer program is a collection of instructions that performs a specific task when executed by a computer. Most computer devices require programs to function properly.

A text file is a kind of computer file that is structured as a sequence of lines of electronic text. A text file exists stored as data within a computer file system. In operating systems such as CP/M and MS-DOS, where the operating system does not keep track of the file size in bytes, the end of a text file is denoted by placing one or more special characters, known as an end-of-file marker, as padding after the last line in a text file. On modern operating systems such as Microsoft Windows and Unix-like systems, text files do not contain any special EOF character, because file systems on those operating systems keep track of the file size in bytes. There are for most text files a need to have end-of-line delimiters, which are done in a few different ways depending on operating system. Some operating systems with record-orientated file systems may not use new line delimiters and will primarily store text files with lines separated as fixed or variable length records.

more (command) command-line program

In computing, more is a command to view the contents of a text file one screen at a time. It is available on Unix and Unix-like systems, DOS, Digital Research FlexOS, IBM/Toshiba 4690 OS, IBM OS/2, Microsoft Windows and ReactOS. Programs of this sort are called pagers. more is a very basic pager, originally allowing only forward navigation through a file, though newer implementations do allow for limited backward movement.

Some programs incorporate their own paging function, for example bash's tab completion function. [3]

Bash (Unix shell) GNU replacement for the Bourne shell

GNU Bash or simply Bash is a Unix shell and command language written by Brian Fox for the GNU Project as a free software replacement for the Bourne shell. First released in 1989, it has been used widely as the default login shell for most Linux distributions and Apple's macOS Mojave and earlier versions. A version is also available for Windows 10. It is also the default user shell in Solaris 11.

Command-line completion is a common feature of command-line interpreters, in which the program automatically fills in partially typed commands.


less (Unix) command line tool to view text file

less is a terminal pager program on Unix, Windows, and Unix-like systems used to view the contents of a text file one screen at a time. It is similar to more, but has the extended capability of allowing both forward and backward navigation through the file. Unlike most Unix text editors/viewers, less does not need to read the entire file before starting, resulting in faster load times with large files.

pg (Unix)

pg is a terminal pager program on Unix and Unix-like systems for viewing text files. It can also be used to page through the output of a command via a pipe. pg uses an interface similar to vi, but commands are different.

most is a terminal pager program on Unix, OpenVMS, MS-DOS, Windows and Unix-like systems used to view the contents of a text file one screen at a time. Programs of this sort are called pagers. It is similar to more, but has the extended capability of allowing both forward and backward navigation through the file, and can scroll left and right. most also supports multiple windows.

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Cygwin Unix subsystem for Windows machines

Cygwin is a POSIX-compatible environment that runs natively on Microsoft Windows. Its goal is to allow programs of Unix-like systems to be recompiled and run natively on Windows with minimal source code modifications by providing them with the same underlying POSIX API they would expect in those systems.

A file viewer is an application software that presents the data stored in a computer file in a human-friendly form. The file contents are generally displayed on the screen, or they may be printed. Also, they may be read aloud using speech synthesis.

Text editor software to modify text documents

A text editor is a type of computer program that edits plain text. Such programs are sometimes known as "notepad" software, following the naming of Microsoft Notepad. Text editors are provided with operating systems and software development packages, and can be used to change files such as configuration files, documentation files and programming language source code.

man page standard UNIX utility for reading manual pages

A man page is a form of software documentation usually found on a Unix or Unix-like operating system. Topics covered include computer programs, formal standards and conventions, and even abstract concepts. A user may invoke a man page by issuing the man command.

Newline Special character in computing signifying the end of a line of text

Newline is a control character or sequence of control characters in a character encoding specification that is used to signify the end of a line of text and the start of a new one. Some text editors set this special character when pressing the ↵ Enter key.

Computer terminal computer input/output device; an electronic or electromechanical hardware device that is used for entering data into, and displaying data from, a computer or a computing system

A computer terminal is an electronic or electromechanical hardware device that is used for entering data into, and displaying or printing data from, a computer or a computing system. The teletype was an example of an early day hardcopy terminal, and predated the use of a computer screen by decades.

Text-based user interface type of interface based on outputting to or controlling a text display

Text-based user interfaces (TUI), alternately terminal user interfaces, to reflect a dependence upon the properties of computer terminals and not just text, is a retronym parallel to the concept of graphical user interfaces (GUI). Like GUIs, they may use the entire screen area and accept mouse and other inputs. They may also use color and often structure the display using special graphical characters such as ┌ and ╣, referred to in Unicode as the "box drawing" set. The modern context of use is usually a terminal emulator.

Code folding Tool of editors for programming, scripting and markup

Code folding is a feature of some text editors, source code editors, and IDEs that allows the user to selectively hide and display – "fold" – sections of a currently edited file as a part of routine edit operations. This allows the user to manage large amounts of text while viewing only those subsections of the text that are specifically relevant at any given time.

Backspace keyboard key

Backspace is the keyboard key that originally pushed the typewriter carriage one position backwards, and in modern computer systems moves the display cursor one position backwards, deletes the character at that position, and shifts back the text after that position by one position.

Comparison of command shells Wikimedia list article

A command shell is a command line interface computer program to an operating system.

Arrow keys computer key designed to move the cursor in a specified direction

Arrow keys or cursor movement keys are buttons on a computer keyboard that are either programmed or designated to move the cursor in a specified direction. The term "cursor movement key" is distinct from "arrow key" in that the former term may refer to any of various keys on a computer keyboard designated for cursor movement, whereas "arrow keys" generally refers to one of four specific keys, typically marked with arrows.

friendly interactive shell Unix shell

The friendly interactive shell (fish) is a Unix shell that attempts to be more interactive and user-friendly than those with a longer history or those formulated as function-compatible replacements for the aforementioned. The design goal of fish is to give the user a rich set of powerful features in a way that is easy to discover, remember, and use. fish is considered an "exotic shell", in that its syntax derives from neither the Bourne shell nor the C shell. Also unlike previous shells, which disable certain features by default to save system resources, fish enables all features by default.

GNU Emacs GNU version of the Emacs text editor

GNU Emacs is an Emacs text editor. It was created by GNU Project founder Richard Stallman. In common with other varieties of Emacs, GNU Emacs is extensible using a Turing complete programming language. GNU Emacs has been called "the most powerful text editor available today". With proper support from the underlying system, GNU Emacs is able to display files in multiple character sets, and has been able to simultaneously display most human languages since at least 1999. Throughout its history, GNU Emacs has been a central component of the GNU project, and a flagship of the free software movement. GNU Emacs is sometimes abbreviated as GNUMACS, especially to differentiate it from other EMACS variants. The tag line for GNU Emacs is "the extensible self-documenting text editor".

Command-line interface Type of computer interface based on entering text commands and viewing text output

A command-line interface (CLI) is a means of interacting with a computer program where the user issues commands to the program in the form of successive lines of text. The program which handles the interface is called a command-line interpreter or command-line processor.

epoll is a Linux kernel system call for a scalable I/O event notification mechanism, first introduced in version 2.5.44 of the Linux kernel mainline. Its function is to monitor multiple file descriptors to see whether I/O is possible on any of them. It is meant to replace the older POSIX select(2) and poll(2) system calls, to achieve better performance in more demanding applications, where the number of watched file descriptors is large.


  1. manpage of more
  2. manpage of less
  3. "Bash Reference Manual: Programmable Completion Builtins". gnu.org.
  4. manpage of pg
  5. "most(1): browse/page through text file - Linux man page". die.net.
  6. "View-Mode".