Scrolling on Ubuntu Server 20.04

I am trying to see permissions on all the files in a directory. However there are too many files to be shown on the screen at one time. I am trying to figure out how to scroll to see more but cannot figure out how to do so. I have tried the google method and found nothing that worked.
Shift + up/down
Shift + pgUp/pgDown
Ctrl + Shift + up/down
Ctrl + Shift + pgUp/pgDown
Ctrl + A + esc then up/down

Nothing seems to be working. I am very new at this and appreciate any help that anyone has to offer.

@brettbyrd I’m guessing that you might be accessing Ubuntu Server from a tty window and not a graphical terminal emulator either installed in a graphical environment on Ubuntu Server or using ssh to access the server.

There might be other options out there, but perhaps the easiest way to deal with the situation is to use a pager to “paginate” the results allowing you to scroll through the results and see everything one page at a time.

I’m guessing that Ubuntu Server has less or more installed. So in your example you would run the following command to see the file and directory permissions one page at a time.

ls -l | less

The bar in the middle of the two commands is called the “pipe” which is the character option above the \ character on US keyboards. So in essence, you are taking the output of ls -l and piping it into the pager program on Linux called less or try more if less is not found. less will take all of the output from ls -l and present it to you one page at a time.

I hope that gets you going until someone has a better answer for you. Thanks @brettbyrd for reaching out to the community with your question. I know I would like to know other ways of doing the same thing as I learn more about administrating Linux servers.


Great answer @mowest.

Actually, the less pager will present the output in an “interactive” mode by default, where you can scroll up and down line by line with the arrows, or page by page with PgUp/PgDn.

If you use the older more pager, it presents one page at a time, until you reach the end.

As you might have guessed, the newer pager is called less because “less is more” - typical *nix geek humor there. :wink: :sunglasses:

@mowest Awesome. This is what I was looking for! After you mentioned it I remember reading about that in the Master Ubuntu Server book. Just have to remember to reference my reference books!


@brettbyrd if I could remember everything I learned, but forgot again, I would be super smart! :slight_smile: I’m so glad that helped you out. Keep engaging with the community, this is a great place that @jay has created for the fans of his content.

I literally refer to my own books at times, because if I don’t do something every day, I forget almost instantly. No one ever remembers everything. The human brain just doesn’t work like that.