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Find what man page is appropriate

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Is it some kind of arcane knowledge, handed down only to initiates after grueling initiations? Well, no. Actually, anyone can learn about Terminal commands, if they know where to look. The key to Terminal wisdom is the man command.

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Linux Man Pages Tips and Tricks

find(1) - Linux man page

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While they're not all well-advertised, there are actually a variety of means of getting help under Unix. Man pages correspond to online manuals for programs, file formats, functions, system calls, and so forth. If you've never read one before, the best way to start is by typing 'man man ' at the command line. Of course, while man pages are a vast improvement over the online documentation of most other OSes, they suffer from many failings: some people don't like to read text on the screen not very helpful unless you already know what to look for not always accessible even when present not always present, especially under Linux frequently hard to read, as they try to be authoritative and are therefore often too technical for new users frequently out of date That said, they're still better and more comprehensive than the alternatives.

We'll try to address the first three failings in this document. Man pages are the standard documentation for every Unix; you're sure to come across a reference before too long of the form:.

Where N is a number from , possibly followed by a letter. Here's an example we'll pick apart note: this example does not apply to all UNIX's but should be taken as general form. This means that the MKDIR command is documented under that name, in section 1 given within parentheses. The section may be necessary in case there are multiple man pages for the same name.

In the example above there are man pages called 'mkdir' in both sections 1 and 2v. If unspecified, man will give you the first manpage it finds. The -f option will show you all the available man pages for a given name. You should be able to get a description of each section they vary from Unix to Unix by doing. This discribes the various flags and the proper format the command requires.

The flag in this instance is -p and the syntax requires a directory name to follow. This function is also available by running apropos 1 , i. It lets you search the database of man page summaries to look for a keyword that might be mentionned in them. Suppose we were looking for utilities to manipulate postscript documents. This produces a list, with summaries, of man pages which are likely to be related to your topic. Note, these commands search the database which in most cases must be built by the system administrators, a task which is sometimes forgotten.

If you can't find what you are looking for and you believe it's there, try doing. SunOS has no such option. There can be several hierarchies of man pages, depending on the system. The command whereis may be able to help here.

For example: note: this specific example should not be taken as generic under Unix but only as a illustration of possible results. Alternatively, you can just try the quick-and-dirty method of running grep 1 in the man directories you think might contain the command you are looking for; note that man pages are not stored in plain text format so the output may not be always readable.

Ok, you have tried the suggestions given above to locate man pages, and still have not had any luck. It's quite possible there is no man page corresponding to what you're looking for - either because the tool or functionality you're searching for isn't installed on the system or because it has no man page installed the latter is far more common under Linux than elsewhere. Let's suppose that you're especially determined because you "know" that the command exists - it does something, just not quite what you want.

Rather than get irate at the undocumented command, first make sure that it is actually a program that deserves a man page; here's an algorithmic approach to looking for a command's help file.

If you are given a path, then you may be justified in being irate. Or maybe the documentation is in another format; keep reading. You have a couple of options here, depending on whether you mind wasting a full page of paper for each page of text. We recommend printing man pages at least half-size, as you're unlikely to return to them a month later.

This will produce a file called Manpage. Unfortunately, while the -t parameter is itself portable to virtually all man implementations, the output is not. Under Linux, the above works fine. If you have trouble getting psnup to work or don't feel like fooling around with it, you can always work with text instead. Personally, I recommend previewing the output with ghostview 1 beforehand.

Not all documentation is located in the manpages. The shells sometimes have online help, as do various other programs, especially graphical ones. Info isn't really complex enough to deserve describing in detail. In brief, you can read info pages within emacs using 'C-h i' 'info' or from the command line using the command. Online help and a tutorial on the info system are available from within both interfaces.

Don't discount info pages; although they are used mainly by GNU software, this includes such hugely useful info pages as gdb , gcc , emacs , gawk , and make. Perl and bash also have info pages, though the information is available by other means as well in their cases.

Only available under Linux, and often not terribly interesting, as a well-behaved package will provide documentation that can be integrated with the major help systems.

Still, there is a lot there, and should definitely be considered if you cannot find what you are looking for elsewhere. We will make the assumption that you know how to deal with these formats. Use the information in this document to find help and read up on lynx 1 , ghostview 1 , and less 1. These are more common to the servers, though they may exist on Linux machines as well. Software packages are commonly installed into. Sometimes there is documentation to be found there.

Much Perl documentation is embedded with the source modules themselves. To access it, you can usually do. While it should probably be a last resort, the source IS always the most current and sometimes the only documentation available for a particular package. Whether or not the program you are trying to learn more about is written in a compiled or interpreted language.

Linux man command

A man page short for manual page is a form of software documentation usually found on a Unix or Unix-like operating system. Topics covered include computer programs including library and system calls , formal standards and conventions, and even abstract concepts. A user may invoke a man page by issuing the man command. By default, man typically uses a terminal pager program such as more or less to display its output. Because man pages are distributed together with the software they document, they are a more favourable means of documenting software compared to out-of-band documentation like web pages , as there is a higher likelihood for a match between the actual features of the software to the documented ones.

Command line users are undoubtedly familiar with man pages, or manual pages, that contain details, help , and documentation to specified commands and functions. Referencing a man page can be essential when trying to learn proper syntax or how a command works, but with how large some manual pages are it can be a real drag to scroll through the entire man page to try and find a relevant portion.

Jump to navigation. It's easy to get into the habit of googling anything you want to know about a command or operation in Linux, but I'd argue there's something even better: a living and breathing, complete reference, the man pages , which is short for manual pages. The history of man pages predates Linux, all the way back to the early days of Unix. Man pages also have a reputation of being terse and, in a way, have a language of their own. Just like Unix and Linux, the man pages have not been static, and they continue to be developed and maintained just like the kernel.

Master the command line: How to use man pages

A very useful aspect of the Linux command line is that the documentation for almost all command line tools is easily accessible. These documents are known as man pages, and you can easily access them through the command line using the man command. In this tutorial, we will discuss the basics of man using some easy to understand examples. But before we do that, it's worth mentioning that all examples in this article have been tested on Ubuntu The man command gives users access to manual pages for command line utilities and tools. Following is the syntax of this command:. The basic usage of man is very simple - just run the command with the name of the tool whose reference manual you want to access. As already mentioned in the beginning, all available manual pages are segregated into sections, and there are sections that contain man page entries of same name. Well, you don't have to do that as there exists a command line option 'f' that allows man to display all manual pages that match the name in the input.

How to Search Man Pages at the Command Line

On Linux and other Unix -like operating systems , man is the interface used to view the system's reference manuals. Each argument given to man is normally the name of a program , utility or function. The manual page associated with each of these arguments is then found and displayed. A section number, if provided, will direct man to look only in that section of the manual. The default action is to search in all of the available sections, following a pre-defined order and to show only the first page found, even if page exists in several sections.

Section-num : Since a manual is divided into multiple sections so this option is used to display only a specific section of a manual.

Search a folder hierarchy for filename s that meet a desired criteria: Name, Size, File Type - see examples. GNU find searches the directory tree rooted at each given file name by evaluating the given expression from left to right, according to the rules of precedence see Operators , until the outcome is known the left hand side is false for AND operations, true for OR , at which point find moves on to the next file name. The -H, -L and -P options control the treatment of symbolic links.

man command in Linux with Examples

While they're not all well-advertised, there are actually a variety of means of getting help under Unix. Man pages correspond to online manuals for programs, file formats, functions, system calls, and so forth. If you've never read one before, the best way to start is by typing 'man man ' at the command line. Of course, while man pages are a vast improvement over the online documentation of most other OSes, they suffer from many failings: some people don't like to read text on the screen not very helpful unless you already know what to look for not always accessible even when present not always present, especially under Linux frequently hard to read, as they try to be authoritative and are therefore often too technical for new users frequently out of date That said, they're still better and more comprehensive than the alternatives.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Linux Command Line (03) ls, command, and man pages

By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy , Privacy Policy , and our Terms of Service. It only takes a minute to sign up. Pay attention to the section number: Suppose you want help on printf. The bash version of printf is in section 1, the C version is in section 3 or 3C. If you don't know which one you want, type man -a printf , and all manual pages will be displayed.

Linux man Command Tutorial for Beginners (8 Examples)

This chapter will explain the use of man pages also called manual pages on your Unix or Linux computer. You will learn the man command together with related commands like whereis , whatis and mandb. Most Unix files and commands have pretty good man pages to explain their use. Man pages also come in handy when you are using multiple flavours of Unix or several Linux distributions since options and parameters sometimes vary. Type man followed by a command for which you want help and start reading.

Oct 8, - A man page, acronym of manual page, is a software documentation found in all Unix-like operating systems. Some man pages are short; some.

The project thus provides most of the pages in Section 2, many of the pages that appear in Sections 3, 4, and 7, and a few of the pages that appear in Sections 1, 5, and 8 of the man pages on a Linux system. The conventions described on this page may also be useful for authors writing man pages for other projects. Sections of the manual pages The manual Sections are traditionally defined as follows: 1 User commands Programs Those commands that can be executed by the user from within a shell. Macro package New manual pages should be marked up using the groff an. This choice is mainly for consistency: the vast majority of existing Linux manual pages are marked up using these macros.

How to use a man page: Faster than a Google search

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