UNIX text pagers: more (or less)?

During your work on a system, you’ll often want to page through a document or some output. Aside from the pagers more and less and view, there really are no other ubiquitous options. There are other programs like w3m and pg, but they are not commonly found.

view has a lack of support for input from stdin (such as from a pipe or another command). This rules it out for lots of administration work. It is, however, ubiquitous, as it is part of vi. If you are used to vi, you may want to use view for looking at files (though not for output).

less is, as are many tools, found everywhere as one of the first things added – but almost never installed by default. The reason for this is unclear – other programs such as perl and ruby and tcl are also often found this way (that is, not installed by default but nearly always installed after the fact). If it is added that often, it should be part of the default install, one would think.

However, more is everywhere and is installed by default. The version of more installed on HP-UX appears to be much enhanced over the original more – a fact that is made apparent when you’ve gotten used to HP-UX more and try to use the Linux more. HP-UX more allows you to go back, to search, and other things that are not present in the Linux more.

Perhaps someone should copy the HP-UX more into Linux…. Hmmm…..