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I am working through a linux training book on a fresh raspberry pi install (Debian v10.0) and have noticed an issue when using less /etc/passwd.

when using the keyboard controls to scroll down, it goes beyond the bottom of the list and prints multiple lines of ~, and then it will not allow me to scroll back up.

Running less /etc/group, keyboard scrolling functions normally

Keyboard controls also function normally when using less in a pipe such as ls --help | less

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  • What does echo "LESS=$LESS" tell you, please?
    – roaima
    Sep 22 '19 at 18:11
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    @roaima returns "LESS="
    – CLopes1987
    Sep 22 '19 at 18:14
  • Your keyboard controls - was this specifically G (capital G) to jump to the end of the file?
    – roaima
    Sep 22 '19 at 18:16
  • no, i was using pageup/pagedown, or the up/down arrow keys. It seems it was an overlooked error on my part, that @sudodus answered below
    – CLopes1987
    Sep 22 '19 at 18:18
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I think this is the normal behaviour, when there are less lines in the file than in the terminal window. (It happens to me too, and the ~ characters are 'spacefillers'). In this case there is no scrolling because the whole file is displayed.

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  • it looks like this might be the case. I guess i overlooked that fact since all the text scrolled so quickly up the screen
    – CLopes1987
    Sep 22 '19 at 18:16

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