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SDB:Manual pages

tagline: From openSUSE

The Manual Pages (man pages) constitute a collection of documentation that is found on any *nix operating system, including Linux. They describe all aspects of Linux, from commands and file formats to programmers references.

Organization

The manual pages are organized in numbered sections:

  1. Executable programs or shell commands
  2. System calls (functions provided by the kernel)
  3. Library calls (functions within program libraries)
  4. Special files (usually found in /dev)
  5. File formats and conventions eg /etc/passwd
  6. Games
  7. Miscellaneous (including macro packages and conventions), e.g. man(7), groff(7)
  8. System administration commands (usually only for root)
  9. Kernel routines ( Non standard )

How to read

There is few ways to read a manual page (man page).

Classic

  • The standard is using CLI (console) command
man <name_of_file>

where the most common is to type in command name as <the name_of_file>, but, as you can see from list of sections there is more, like configuration files, C language commands, kernel functions, and so on.

Example:

man man

will list how to use the command man.

Read-manual-pages-using-man.png


Konqueror

Type in Location: (where usually goes http:// etc)

man:<name_of_file>

and it will list file content, or selection list if few files in different sections have the same name.

Assuming you are using KDE4, you can also just press [Alt][f2] combination to launch krunner. Then type in its insertion field:

#<file_name>
(e.g., try: "#info")

Example:

Read-manual-pages-using-konqueror.png


Click on first item in the list /usr/share/man/man1/man1.gz and there it is the man page about command man:

Read-manual-pages-in-konqueror.png


Searching

  • You can use apropos which is a command line tool that searches the man (manual) pages for descriptions that match what you type after it.

For example:

apropos list

Using info

Some commands have just very basic manual, that describes few command options and then refers reader to info pages. To be able to continue reading you can use on command line:

info <command name>

or use Konqueror in the same way as with command man, described above. This time instead of man:<command name> you type info:<command name>


See Also