UNIX Style Less Command

Posted On 2007-04-14 by FortyPoundHead
Tags: Tip Windows XP
Views: 2266

The less command, on most UNIX-style operating systems, displays the contents of a text file, but in a different fashion than the more command. Instead of only allowing one-way scrolling through a file, less uses the entire terminal window to display a text file and allows for interactive bi-directional scrolling. The less command has other interactive features, allowing one to search for matching text.

Windows XP has an equivalent to this command called list. While not 100% functionally-equivalent to most versions of the UNIX less command, list does support text searching and bi-directional scrolling. This command is useful when examining log files (such as web server logs), configuration files, and software "read me" files when you don''t want to open a Notepad window.

While Notepad will typically load a full file into memory, if you need to view log files containing multiple gigabytes of data, the list command only buffers up to (by default) 200k of information at a time.

To use the list command, you''ll need to first download and install the Windows 2003 Resource Kit.

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