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Engineering LibreTexts

01-C.21: Linux man pages

  • Page ID
  • Man Pages

    Linux man pages have been around since the beginning and help to explain what each command can do. Each man page should give you a general overview of the command, it's options, and possibly an example of how to use it towards the bottom. You will find that man pages are the most immediately accessible source of help. There are many other places across the web where you can find online versions of these documents, and tutorials covering how to use the various commands. It is usually a combination of material that helps you to get to a highly proficient state of Linux command knowledge and use.

    There are 8 sections of the Linux Manual. These sections come from the historic perspective of the Unix manuals. Some commands appear in multiple sections as they have more than one way in which they are used.

    Man Page Sections:

    Manual Section Section Description
    1 General Commands
    2 System Calls
    3 Library functions, covering in particular the C standard library
    4 Special files (usually devices, those found in /dev) and drivers
    5 File formats and conventions
    6 Games and screensavers
    7 Miscellanea
    8 System administration commands and daemons

    Man Page Usage

    Once you have issued a man command (the man command is covered in detail on the following pages), you can move around the man page using the Home/End key to take you to the beginning/end of the man pages. The PageUp/PageDown keys work as well. The space bar moves forward one screen, the Enter key moves forward one line. Use the 'b' key to move backwards one screen. To search any man page use the / key, then enter a search term. During a search 'n' moves to the next occurrence of the search term, and 'p' moves to the previous occurrence. To exit from the man page use the 'q' key.

    Adapted from:
    "man command in Linux with Examples" by msdeep14, Geeks for Geeks is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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