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How to search in man page

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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.

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Linux Man Pages Tips and Tricks

find(1) - Linux man page

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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. Even so, users generally don't need to know the section where a particular command lies to find what they need.

The files are formatted in a way that may look odd to many users today. Originally, they were written in in an old form of markup called troff because they were designed to be printed through a PostScript printer, so they included formatting for headers and other layout aspects.

In Linux, groff is used instead. If you look up the man page for the command man , you'll see the file man. To access a man page, type a command such as:. This uncompresses the man page, interprets the formatting commands, and displays the results with less , so navigation is the same as when you use less.

To explain how to interpret a typical man page, let's use the man page for ls as an example. Under Name , we see. Any element that occurs inside brackets is optional.

The above command means you can legitimately type ls and nothing else. The ellipsis after each element indicates that you can include as many options as you want as long as they're compatible with each other and as many files as you want. For example:. Under Description , we see a more verbose description of what the command does, followed by a list of the available options for the command. If we want to use this option, we can either type the short form syntax, -a , or the long form --all.

Not all options have two forms e. When you want to use multiple options, you can either type the short forms with spaces in between or type them with a single hyphen and no spaces as long as they do not require further sub-options.

The command tar is somewhat unique, presumably due to its long history, in that it doesn't require a hyphen at all for the short form. After all, there is much more to man pages than just commands. Our latest Linux articles. While the documentation for these is even more terse and compact, overall it contains similar information. Ah, no, PostScript printers also did not exist when troff was invented. They are one of the biggest turn-offs to using Linux.

Linux needs constructive help pages. Sounds like Google is your friend. For many commands, a more extensively written documentation would be very large. It's got a bunch of command examples, and you can add more easily, and even contribute examples back. Combined with man pages, it's a pretty complete reference set. A well-written man page is a thing of beauty.

An user doesn't need Googled examples if the man has clear, concise writing. Examples may be included in the man page if it's especially troublesome, otherwise -- but if you have to look up a Googled script-kiddie example, you're not really understanding the way the command works. I'm surprised nobody has mentioned man2html yet It took a little setting up initially, but as previously mentioned here: MAN pages are a great example of how NOT to write manuals.

I find man2html very useful I often have a web browser window open anyway, as well as a custom "home" page with various search boxes. It has become difficult to find and install these days, but my favourite viewer for man pages was xman. Yes the athena widgets are a bit clunky and it is datet but still it offered an easy alternative to just plain shell. How to use a man page: Faster than a Google search How to use a man page: Faster than a Google search.

Linux manual pages are easier to use than you think and hold a wealth of information. Image by :. Internet Archive Book Images.

Modified by Opensource. Get the highlights in your inbox every week. Man pages are divided into sections referenced by numbers: General user commands System calls Library functions Special files and drivers File formats Games and screensavers Miscellanea System administration commands and daemons Even so, users generally don't need to know the section where a particular command lies to find what they need.

To access a man page, type a command such as: man man for example, to show the man page for man. Breaking down a man page To explain how to interpret a typical man page, let's use the man page for ls as an example.

Under Name , we see ls - list directory contents which tells us what ls means in the simplest terms. More Linux resources. Topics Linux. About the author. Greg Pittman - Greg is a retired neurologist in Louisville, Kentucky, with a long-standing interest in computers and programming, beginning with Fortran IV in the s.

When Linux and open source software came along, it kindled a commitment to learning more, and eventually contributing. He is a member of the Scribus Team. More about me. Recommended reading Scan your Linux security with Lynis. Start using systemd as a troubleshooting tool. Getting started with FreeBSD as a desktop operating system. Using the systemctl command to manage systemd units. Understanding systemd at startup on Linux. Anon on 12 Jul Permalink.

Googling comes with example, most man pages don't. John5g6 on 13 Jul Permalink. Greg Pittman on 14 Jul Permalink. Seth Kenlon on 13 Jul Permalink. I use man pages. Some are better than others. Fionn on 13 Jul Permalink. Michael on 16 Jul Permalink. Rolf on 18 Jul Permalink. Try to use a search engine that respects your privacy.

Ahmad Haghighi on 11 Aug Permalink. Erwin on 20 Jul Permalink. Most often you don't need a Search Engine! Just RTFM :. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter Get the highlights in your inbox every week.

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

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. Sometimes I need to look up certain words through all the manual pages.

By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy , Privacy Policy , and our Terms of Service. Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It only takes a minute to sign up.

The command used to display them is man. In spite of their scope, man pages are designed to be self-contained documents, consequentially limiting themselves to referring to other man pages when discussing related subjects. This is in sharp contrast with the hyperlink-aware Info documents , GNU's attempt at replacing the traditional man page format. Manuals are sorted into several sections. For a full listing see the section entitled "Sections of the manual pages" in man-pages 7.

How to effectively use Man Pages under Linux

By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy , Privacy Policy , and our Terms of Service. Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It only takes a minute to sign up. What I'd like to be able to do is to search for the next occurrence of the word or phrase without having to type it out again. The default pager used for manual pages is less , which has similar shortcuts to those in the vim text editor. Sign up to join this community. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top.

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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.

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This guide shows how to navigate man pages using the man command. Everyone at some point in their Linux life has used it: the man command. However, while the man program itself appears to be rather simplistic in its construct, it has a few extra abilities than just simply scrolling through the page. This document hopes to help shed some light on these capabilities.

Linux Tutorial - 4. Manual Pages

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. Note the flag is a capital -K, the string can be anything. Any matches to the syntax in the current man page will be highlighted.

The online Reference Manual man pages provide detailed descriptions and usage of the commands. You can use the man command to display the man page entry that explains a given command. The syntax of the man command is as follows. The online man page entries are organized into sections based on the type or usage of the command or file. For example, Section 1 contains user commands, and Section 4 contains information about various file formats.

Linux man Command Tutorial for Beginners (8 Examples)

The Linux command line offers a wealth of power and opportunity. If your memory is like mine then you find it hard to remember a large number of details. Fortunately for us there is an easy to use resource that can inform us about all the great things we can do on the command line. That's what we're going to learn about in this section. I know you're keen and eager to get stuck into doing stuff, and we'll get started on that in the next section, I promise, first we need to learn how to use Manual pages however. The manual pages are a set of pages that explain every command available on your system including what they do, the specifics of how you run them and what command line arguments they accept. Some of them are a little hard to get your head around but they are fairly consistent in their structure so once you get the hang of it it's not too bad.

Use n and Shift N for the next and previous matches. (The default pager used for manual pages is less, which has similar shortcuts to those in the vim text editor.).2 answers.

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.

locate(1) - Linux man page

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Comments: 4
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