I will show you mine if you show me yours – Displaying files

Here is a little stuff from me for all UNIX/Linux users out there. What are your favorite ways to displaying files while working at shell prompt? Here is my list (according to task):


Display text files

  • cat – Display text file ( don’t use, go for less)
  • less – Display text file, move forward or backward
  • head -Display top of the file
  • tail – Display bottom of the file
    $ tail -f /var/log/message
  • zless – Display compressed or plain text file, no need to use pipe.
    $ zless /usr/share/man/man1/ls.1.gz
  • rev – Display file lines in reverse from last character to first
    $ tail -2 /etc/passwd | rev
  • tac – Display file lines in reverse order
    $ tac /etc/passwd | less

Display MS-Word file

  • antiword {.doc file} – Display MS-Word file
  • catdoc {.doc file} – Reads MS-Word file and display its content as plain text on screen
    $ catdoc /tmp/db-2-releasenotes.doc | less
    Note use ‘apt-get install’ command to install both catdoc & antiword.

Display PDF file

  • pdftohtml – Program to convert pdf files into html, xml and png images and then display them using text browser such as elinks or lynx.

$ pdftohtml DB2-HOWTO.pdf
$ lynx DB2-HOWTO.html
$ elinks DB2-HOWTO.html

Display Images in text browser (under xterm)

  • w3m – Display images in text browser, for example:

$ w3m http://cybrciti.biz/nixcraft/forum/

Display Man pages
w3mman – an interface to the reference manuals, you can search via keyword, section wise etc.

As you see some of above commands are extremely useful on remote Linux/UNIX/BSD server. That’s it folks, time to show me yours 🙂

🥺 Was this helpful? Please add a comment to show your appreciation or feedback.

nixCrat Tux Pixel Penguin
Hi! 🤠
I'm Vivek Gite, and I write about Linux, macOS, Unix, IT, programming, infosec, and open source. Subscribe to my RSS feed or email newsletter for updates.

0 comments… add one

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Use HTML <pre>...</pre> for code samples. Your comment will appear only after approval by the site admin.