Linux tutorial, part 4

Looking at file contents with the "more" and "cat" commands

If I want to be sure that I have the right file I can also look at it with the more command, like this:

more foo.html

This command shows the contents of the file, like the "type" command on DOS, except it provides features to scroll the contents. When I first execute the command it displays the first screenful of information for the file, and then lets me scroll forward and backwards through the file using the [Spacebar] key to go forward one screen, the [b] key to go backward one screen, and the [Enter] key to go forward one line. Most systems are even nicer, and let you use the [UpArrow] and [DownArrow] keys to scroll through the file.

You can do a bunch more things when the more command is showing a file, like search for stuff, but we'll get to that another time. When you're finished looking at the file with this command just hit the letter [q] to quit, and you'll be returned to the command prompt.

As one last note, if I were more of a crazy person I might use the cat command instead of the more command, like this:

cat foo.html

"cat" stands for concatenate, and works much more like the DOS "type" command, displaying all of the file contents as fast as the system can display them. But I prefer the more command.

(The cat command is actually more powerful than the DOS "type" command, but I'll have to save that for another time.)

Removing/deleting a file

Oops, I just remembered, while I'm here I meant to delete a file in my home directory aptly named "". To get back to my home directory I just type the cd command, with no arguments, like this:


and my prompt changes to this:> _

With no arguments supplied to it, the cd command simply returns me to my home directory. I then remove the file like this:


If you're system is setup to be conservative you might be prompted with something like an "Are you sure?" prompt, but I haven't set up my system that way, and I don't see any output, and I know my file is gone (because I don't see an error).

On to part 5