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lesspipe.sh is an input filter for the pager 'less' as described in less's man page. It runs under a ksh-compatible shell (ksh, bash, zsh) and lets you use 'less' to view compressed files, archives, and files contained in archives. Viewing files by accessing a device file has been implemented for DOS filesystems and tar files only. The following formats are currently supported (both as plain and compressed files using compress, gzip, bzip2, or zip): tar, nroff, (sh)ar, executables, directories, RPM and Debian (.deb) Archives, Microsoft Word, files and PDF.


User man page included.

Related Projects


LicenseVerified byVerified onNotes
GPLv2Janet Casey31 October 2001

Leaders and contributors

Wolfgang Friebel Maintainer
Derek B. Noonburg Contributor
Florian Cramer Contributor
Heinrich Kuettler Contributor

Resources and communication

Audience Resource type URI
Bug Tracking,Developer,Support E-mail mailto:Wolfgang.Friebel@desy.de
Developer VCS Repository Webview https://github.com/wofr06/lesspipe/
Developer Download https://www-zeuthen.desy.de/~friebel/unix/less/

Software prerequisites

Kind Description
Weak prerequisite mtype
Weak prerequisite antiword
Weak prerequisite nm
Weak prerequisite mtoolstest (according to which file type you are using)
Required to use file (GNU file 3.27 or above recommended)
Weak prerequisite dpkg
Weak prerequisite strings
Weak prerequisite groff
Required to use gzip/bzip2/unzip (depending on compression method used)
Weak prerequisite dpkg-deb
Weak prerequisite rpm
Required to use bash (2.04 or later) *or* ksh *or* zsh
Weak prerequisite pdftotext
Weak prerequisite rpm2cpio
Weak prerequisite GNU tar
Weak prerequisite mdir
Weak prerequisite GNU cpio
Weak prerequisite ar

This entry (in part or in whole) was last reviewed on 7 January 2017.


Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the page “GNU Free Documentation License”.

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