14.9. Keep ls Output from Scrolling

Whenever I type ls I can barely see the output of the directory because it scrolls by too quickly. How can I actually read the output?

To prevent the output of ls from scrolling by too quickly, pipe the output to a utility such as less or more. You are then able to see the output one screen at at time.

To read the contents of /etc with less, type the following command at the shell prompt:

ls -al /etc | less

To move forward a screen, press [Space] bar; to move back a screen, press the [b] key; to quit, press [q].

You can achieve the same results with more, another paging utility.

14.9.1. Printing ls Output

You can also print directory listings by piping the output to a printer in the same way that you piped the output to your screen. If you have configured a printer, type the following to pipe the output of a command to the printer:

ls -al /etc | lpr