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cat [file] prints the file to stdout, whereas less [file] opens it up for viewing, like a manpage
you said what i wanted to say, so why you asking? lol
I don't know which is the best option :(
i never use cat for viewing because it will spam my terminal but maybe you need sometimes to print something to terminal then you can use it
It depends on the context where you use the file to display.. you can even use VI filename on the terminal to see as well as edit just like edit in windows..
If two commands are equivelant to you, the better one is in the /bin directory (as opposed to /usr/bin or /usr/local/bin), or on the recovery disk for your system. That way, if things go south, you won't be "out of your usual" while trying to repair it.
Less is better
Use both! cat filename | less :D
I agree that it depends on the context. If the file is small, cat it because less requires an extra keystroke to escape. If the file is larger and you need to jump to a specific section, less is better. Now if you just want the end of a file, you can use tail. The various options exist because they each have their use.