Eric on 28 Oct 2009 15:20:46 -0700

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[PLUG] odd bash and/or less behavior

One of the Linux systems[*] that I'm working on recently began to act
strangely when I use the command 'less'. 

For example, typing:

/usr/bin/less index.html

...results in the screen flashing the less "usage" text rapidly by
followed by an immediate exit and the screen appears unchanged. 
(if I wanted "cat >/dev/null" I would have typed: cat > /dev/null !!)

Even stranger, after that there is a file in the pwd entitled "erver:"
that contains some control characters followed by the less help file.

I'm not sure how to troubleshoot it but I've tried:

1.   /usr/bin/less index.html
  erver: contains the less 'usage' text complete with control characters

2    /usr/bin/less index.html > sample.txt
  sample.txt contains a byte-for-byte duplicate of index.html
  erver: is not created

3    /usr/bin/less index.html 2> sample.txt
   the screen flashes the less "usage" text
   sample.txt is an empty file
   erver: contains the less 'usage' text complete with control characters
4    /usr/bin/less index.html > sample.txt 2&>1
  sample.txt then contains a duplicate of index.html
  erver: does not exist

I do not administrate this system so if somebody changed something it's
news to me :-(

Any suggestions or thoughts?


PS:  [*]
cat /etc/lsb-release

#  Eric Lucas
#                "Oh, I have slipped the surly bond of earth
#                 And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings...
#                                        -- John Gillespie Magee Jr

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