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less and more seem to have very similar functionality in that they both page through text a screen at a time.

What reasons are there to use one over the other?

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marked as duplicate by Stéphane Chazelas, slm, Anthon, Evan Teitelman, rahmu Jul 18 '13 at 13:33

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

As the saying goes, you get more with less. – Michael Kjörling Jul 18 '13 at 10:49
Mostly the same as Isn't less just more?. See there too. – manatwork Jul 18 '13 at 11:17
up vote 5 down vote accepted

more is a legacy program, and less is an improved version of more (the ability to scroll backwards being the biggest difference, but there are others such as searching within the text). Unless you're working on either a truly antique system or a pared-down embedded one where less isn't available, there is no reason to ever use more.

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less does more. – eccstartup Jul 18 '13 at 11:56
@eccstartup more or less. Most is best, though. – evilsoup Jul 18 '13 at 12:45
Not just antique, also embedded. The less program needs to buffer the entire output, which can easily exhaust memory on a small device. Also, darn youngsters should get off my lawn! – Simon Richter Jul 18 '13 at 12:48
@SimonRichter I've never worked with embedded systems, but now that you've mentioned it that makes sense. – evilsoup Jul 18 '13 at 14:06
@SimonRichter: less doesn't need to buffer the entire output, it buffers 64k by default. See the -b and -B options. Also, less runs perfectly well on embedded, it's just that it's a relatively big program, and busybox already provides its own simplistic versions of less and more. – ninjalj Jul 19 '13 at 6:59

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