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Old 08-24-2012, 11:59 AM   #1
tux_UAP
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How to find hidden switches


Is there a way to consistently find information on hidden switches for a command line program? For instance, I found an article which demonstrated using ps -aux | less. This works, but when I invoke ps --help I see no description of aux. It obviously does something because the output is substantially different when not using aux. How can I found what other switches might be lurking inside of a given command line program? Thanks.

UAP
 
Old 08-24-2012, 12:11 PM   #2
austintx
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commandlinefu.com has a very interesting list of command line tricks.
And here are more...
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/CommandLineResources

If you want to see all the switches for a given command, look it up here:
http://manpages.ubuntu.com/

Last edited by austintx; 08-24-2012 at 12:17 PM.
 
Old 08-24-2012, 01:48 PM   #3
tux_UAP
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I realize now that the aux is not an individual switch, but a combination of a, u, and x. Thanks for the reply.
 
Old 08-24-2012, 05:36 PM   #4
bcwagne
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The --help switch usually only gives a few of the most common options. Going to the man pages, either on the internet or by typing 'man <command>' in the terminal will give you the whole story.
 
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Old 08-24-2012, 06:26 PM   #5
David the H.
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Commands do sometimes have undocumented features. Generally this is caused by the developers not updating the documentation as fast as the program.

I imagine that these features are usually "discovered" by the developers mentioning them in discussions/newsgroups, by someone going to the trouble of digging through the source code, or occasionally simply by accident.
 
  


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