I had set less to a vim less functionality some years ago and I would like to reverse those changes. Therefore I started removing the alias from "~/.zshrc". Since after sourcing this file my system told me that when I type "less" I wanted to access the vim less functionality I added those two exports:

export LESSOPEN="|lesspipe.sh %s"
export LESS="/usr/bin/less"

and the following alias

alias less="/usr/bin/less"

"ls -l \less" did not present me the target of the default target of less so I couldn't see what the actual default symbolic link of less targeted

After sourcing the file everything works fine except for the fact that I will now receive the line "There is no -/ option ("less --help" for help)".

How can I fix this problem, why does it even appear?

1 Answer 1


In less man page:


LESS: Options which are passed to less automatically.

The point of the environment variable is to configure default options for less. You could do:

export LESS=FRX

for instance for the -F, -R and -X options to be passed automatically.

So you don't want to put a path to a less executable in there. Doing so would tell less to try and interpret it as options. / is not a valid option name for less.

Also, the alias less=/usr/bin/less should only be necessary if there are more than one less versions installed on the system and it's the one in /usr/bin you want as opposed to the one that would be found via a $PATH lookup.

Even then, using an alias is not necessary there, you could use hash less=/usr/bin/less instead to tell the shell the preferred path to the less command.

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