bzless – Enhanced .bz2 Archive Viewer

BZLESS is a Linux command that allows users to view the contents of compressed .bz2 archive files in a more convenient way. It is an enhanced version of the less command that is specifically designed to work with .bz2 files.


The basic syntax for using the bzless command is as follows:

bzless [options] filename.bz2

When executed, the command displays the contents of the specified .bz2 file on the terminal, one page at a time. Users can navigate through the contents using the arrow keys or by typing the desired line number followed by the Enter key.

Here are some examples of how to use the bzless command:

bzless file.bz2

This command displays the contents of the file.bz2 archive on the terminal.

bzless -S file.bz2

This command displays the contents of the file.bz2 archive, but with line wrapping turned off.

bzless -n 20 file.bz2

This command displays the first 20 lines of the file.bz2 archive.


The following table lists the available options for the bzless command:

Option Description
-S Turn off line wrapping
-n number Specify the number of lines to display
-h Display help message and exit
-V Display version information and exit

Troubleshooting tips

Here are some troubleshooting tips for common issues with the bzless command:

  • If the command is not working, make sure that the file you are trying to view is a valid .bz2 archive file.
  • If you are unable to navigate through the contents of the file using the arrow keys, try using the line number method instead.
  • If you are experiencing performance issues when viewing large .bz2 files, try using the -S option to turn off line wrapping.


  • The bzless command is part of the bzip2 package, which should be installed on most Linux systems by default.
  • The command can be used in combination with other Linux commands, such as grep and awk, to search and manipulate the contents of .bz2 files.