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Get out of man page

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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: Man: How To More Effectively Make Use Of Man Pages

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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frequently hard to read, as they try to be authoritative and are therefore often too technical for new users frequently out of date That said, they're still better and more comprehensive than the alternatives.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.

Accessing man pages on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

Managing User Accounts and Groups Overview. Managing User Accounts and Groups Tasks. Working With Oracle Configuration Manager.

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How to Exit the MAN Command and Quit Man Pages Properly

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Master the command line: How to use man pages

You are absolutely right. I'll add your suggestion to the body of the blog entry. Nice little trick there. Can you think of a way in which the more behavior, or the -X behavior for less could be selectively applied to the man command, therefore excluding the change from other commands that use less? I prefer most as my pager.

Screen is a full-screen window manager that multiplexes a physical terminal between several processes, typically interactive shells.

In Unix , most programs, and many protocols, functions, and file formats, have accompanying manuals. With the man command, you can retrieve the information in the manual and display it as text output on your screen. To use the man command, at the Unix prompt, enter:.

Screen User’s Manual

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.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Mastering Linux Man Pages - A Definitive Guide

By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy , Privacy Policy , and our Terms of Service. Stack Overflow for Teams is a private, secure spot for you and your coworkers to find and share information. I entered man ls. This shows a screen with the manual for ls. I want to close this manual and go back to the previous screen. How do I do it?

Use the Unix man command to read manual pages

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.

All man pages have a common format. They begin with name (the name of the command) and a brief description of what it does. The pwd command I looked at.

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watch(1) - Linux man page

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How to exit a Linux man page

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