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I'll often use less to page through the output of a program that's going to keep producing output, such as with tail -f /var/log/messages | less. Is it possible to jump to the bottom of the current buffer when doing this?

Normally when using less with a program that's expected to terminate (grep <term> <files> | less, for example), you can press Shift+G, and less will wait for the program to terminate and the pipe to close, then jump to the bottom of the buffer. However doing this with a pipe that will never terminate just causes less to hang.

Instead, I'd like less to just go to the bottom of whatever has already come through the pipe; is that possible?

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    Why not just use tail -f, there is a flag to let it sleep for a few seconds while producing output so your screen doesn't get too flooded? – ryekayo Sep 23 '15 at 17:24
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The first example you show can be trivially handled by less itself:

less /var/log/messages

and then hit shift+F which puts less into "follow" mode, which translates roughly to tail -f functionality.

I suspect the follow mode is what you're looking for.

  • Ooh, nice, thank you! Is there a way to leave that mode again without leaving less entirely? – me_and Sep 28 '15 at 10:40
  • Hit ctrl-C which will cancel the "follow" mode. – wurtel Sep 28 '15 at 13:41

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