LinuxQuestions.org
Go Job Hunting at the LQ Job Marketplace
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Password
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

Notices

Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 12-30-2002, 01:06 PM   #1
dunbar
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2002
Location: Central New Hampster
Distribution: PCLinuxOS 2009.1, UNR 9.04
Posts: 53

Rep: Reputation: 15
man/info pages no help


Many Linux commands have man page entries , others have info entries .

In too many cases which I have encountered thus far, the man/info documentation is totally useless.

I have found that many man pages omit a 'files' section, and the info entry for the command is exactly the same as the man page, and thus equally useless. I cannot get onto the internet at any time aside from at work, and I have no alternatives for LUG or other local assistance. I'd really like to learn a lot more about Linux, but after 2 1/2 years, I'm about to give it all the heave-ho, because RTFM is not a legitimate solution for an unsurfing box (not that I like outdated internet docs any more, but that was a prior rant in another forum).

Unless I have somehow missed something????

Where can I, on my 'crashed' Linux box, find an explanation of 'what commands are affecting what configuration files'? Right now, that would help me greatly.
 
Old 12-30-2002, 04:52 PM   #2
DavidPhillips
Guru
 
Registered: Jun 2001
Location: South Alabama
Distribution: Fedora / RedHat / SuSE
Posts: 7,155

Rep: Reputation: 56
There are a lot of documents in /usr/share/doc

other than that I would say the best thing to do would be to get some books or just ask here.

most people will be glad to give info on certain commands or configurations
 
Old 12-31-2002, 03:01 PM   #3
dunbar
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2002
Location: Central New Hampster
Distribution: PCLinuxOS 2009.1, UNR 9.04
Posts: 53

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally posted by DavidPhillips
There are a lot of documents in /usr/share/doc

other than that I would say the best thing to do would be to get some books or just ask here.

most people will be glad to give info on certain commands or configurations
I appreciate your offer, DP, but I asked if I missed something; from your reply I guess I haven't missed anything.

And I'm back at the same old 'nobody knows what file is affected by which command' problem which I had in Windows. Wonderful. The deliberate obfuscation of information, which is a common habit of Windows looks the exact same as the Linux coders laziness to document things in the man pages. Yes, I meant lazy: only the coder of the software knows which files are affected by their software, the coder generates the need for the file in the first place. Yes, some code uses system variables set in config files, but these strings are a string inside the source code. Is there a way to read through the sourcecode, to get a listing of the files involved?

BTW: Arch Linux removes /usr/share/doc from all packages, I couldn't get any information from there.... the Arch coders must have some way to get the information as they are all coders......


Not to be argumentive, but RTotherFM is also a useless reply, as useless as RTFM is. I'm not mad at you, DP, just mad at the mentality that causes nobody to have any clear answer to such a simple question as 'where are the file which are affected by this command?'.....
 
Old 12-31-2002, 03:10 PM   #4
DavidPhillips
Guru
 
Registered: Jun 2001
Location: South Alabama
Distribution: Fedora / RedHat / SuSE
Posts: 7,155

Rep: Reputation: 56
Well I don't want to type out what file does what for every single file in the system. I have over 4000 commands on mine, I know a few of the important ones.

The thing is you need to be specific on what you want to know does what.

Of course you can get a discription of what everything does, but that would take years to read.


this is a great place to start
http://www.gnu.org/directory/GNU/


each package has links to documentation and everything you need.


Then if you are using rpm you can check the package for all files included

rpmfind.net is great for that. Just look at the associated html file and it tells you everything included in a package.

Last edited by DavidPhillips; 12-31-2002 at 03:15 PM.
 
Old 12-31-2002, 03:32 PM   #5
bulliver
Senior Member
 
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Edmonton AB, Canada
Distribution: Gentoo x86_64; Gentoo PPC; FreeBSD; OS X 10.9.4
Posts: 3,760
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 77
Quote:
BTW: Arch Linux removes /usr/share/doc from all packages, I couldn't get any information from there.... the Arch coders must have some way to get the information as they are all coders......
Not sure if you know this, but it explains on the Arch Linux website that they don't include the /docs/ because they are rarely used and take up too much space, plus they are easily accessed on the web if you need them. I am inclined to agree.

If you have no internet then I guess you're pooched. You can try a distro that includes the docs, or as was suggested, get a book. With every Linux system so customizable and thousands of commands which may or may not be on your system, you will never find one single source of what you're asking for.

Quote:
Not to be argumentive, but RTotherFM is also a useless reply, as useless as RTFM is. I'm not mad at you, DP, just mad at the mentality that causes nobody to have any clear answer to such a simple question as 'where are the file which are affected by this command?'.....
As you can see, it's not a simple question...

Last edited by bulliver; 12-31-2002 at 03:34 PM.
 
Old 12-31-2002, 03:42 PM   #6
SlickWilly
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2002
Posts: 327

Rep: Reputation: 30
Quote:
Not to be argumentive, but RTotherFM is also a useless reply, as useless as RTFM is. I'm not mad at you, DP, just mad at the mentality that causes nobody to have any clear answer to such a simple question as 'where are the file which are affected by this command?'..... [/B]
[/QUOTE]

I hate to seem dense, but.. seriously.. I have no idea what you're complaining about.

I, personally, don't understand what you mean when you ask :

'where are the file which are affected by this command?'

What command? Let me take an example of say 'netstat'. It's a command. It has a man page which details all of the different command line options I can give it which do interesting things. It gives me a brief description of what it does, it gives me a longer description of what it does...

It gives me.... a FILES section which details with which it either interacts, gets config information from, or which remotely impinge on it's use.

and then it goes and gives me SEE ALSO which details commands which are *like* netstat, or which might prove useful in whatever it is I wanted to use netstat for.

Should you wish to look at the source for the programs themselves I'm sure they're available... Actually, I'm not sure. I've never met Arch Linux. But they're available on pretty much all the other distro's.

Rather than charging like a bull in a china-shop about how programmers are lazy (which is going to get *ME* incensed at the very least - I've written no small number of tools you could read man pages on) why don't you post something about your problem, and then those of use who've either met it, or have greater savvy with the documentation can point you the right way...



Slick.
 
Old 01-02-2003, 11:54 AM   #7
dunbar
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2002
Location: Central New Hampster
Distribution: PCLinuxOS 2009.1, UNR 9.04
Posts: 53

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
I'm looking for a problem resolution method or technique that (hopefully) never fails. I will not suffer anyone with my posting a list of cammands, because I have no desire for command-at-a-time assistance; I want a tool that always succeeds and is not prone to documentation omissions or errors, not prone to access outages, a tool that is always current, no matter which distro I select. I desire to be independant of forum support, desire information that cannot become outdated, because I'll derive the information right then and there, local to the disconnected Linux system.

Again, I am not referring to only one command. I seek a different method of self assistance, aside from man pages and info system, because no matter which commands fail, (whenever they fail), I find that I am frequently still in the dark when I search the internet, and I do not desire to make dozens of handwritten notes about my situation to transport back to the internet browsing system. Humor me here, I frequently post as a supporter in several other forums.

I'm not trying to be antisocial as much as I am trying to remove variables.... lack of data in a man page is a variable based on, in part, human input, either unintended omission or deliberate exclusion of information look the same when the information is missing from the man page.

Needing to avoid using the internet is not just a hardware limitation, it is a security technique, is also necessary because I have a rural installation - subject to trees falling, line noise, erroneous telco disconnects, inability to share dialup, etc.

C'mon folks, this can't need this much background explanation!

I believe I can parse through the source code, and derive something that tells me which files are referenced by the (compiled) command. That would be the optimal answer, here; I am not C/C++/Perl/PHP/etc savvy.


grep file$ foo.c ?

Is there a common file name string in the declarations?

Something like that....
 
Old 01-02-2003, 12:19 PM   #8
SlickWilly
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2002
Posts: 327

Rep: Reputation: 30
>I'm looking for a problem resolution method or technique that (hopefully) never fails.
> I want a tool that always succeeds
> not prone to access outages

Um.. sounds like you need a book.
Seriously. RedHat the boxed set (costing $) comes with manuals. It's been a while since I bought a boxed RedHat set, but I definately recall manuals...

http://linux.oreilly.com/

is a good place for books. They're not subject to outages, and are always current - for whatever distro / release you're using.

I'm afraid though, that you're ultimately going to be frustrated. What you ask is simply 'not possible(tm)'. No one tool can hope to document the feature set, configuration, running, application, security aspects and whatever else for *every* program in a unix system.

This isn't Windows. Lots of people write stuff for Linux, which gets included. Some are better at documenting than others..

At best you can get to know a couple of tools. lsof for instance...

Pick a running process...

lsof | grep <process name>

to see a list of files it currently has open. But that's a hack anyway, and you'll not be happy with it, because it won't, for instance, tell you what file it used for it's configuration - having opened that, read it, and closed it...

But still.. how did I know about that command? I read a book, looked at the internet, and generally soaked up info.

Might I suggest a change of distro? It doesn't sound like Arch is your cup-of-tea. Redhat with a book or two might suit you alot better?

Slick.
 
Old 01-02-2003, 02:21 PM   #9
dunbar
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2002
Location: Central New Hampster
Distribution: PCLinuxOS 2009.1, UNR 9.04
Posts: 53

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Question What?

Quote:
Originally posted by SlickWilly
>I'm looking for a problem resolution method or technique that (hopefully) never fails.
> I want a tool that always succeeds
> not prone to access outages

Um.. sounds like you need a book.
Seriously. RedHat the boxed set (costing $) comes with manuals. It's been a while since I bought a boxed RedHat set, but I definately recall manuals...

C'mon, dude, read the whole post! I was trying to focus you to my needs, but if you won't read the whole post, let me summarize, I'm not moving on this last part:
Quote:
grep file$ foo.c ?

Is there a common file name string in the declarations?

Something like that....

Now, as for the rest of your message:
Quote:
http://linux.oreilly.com/

is a good place for books. They're not subject to outages, and are always current - for whatever distro / release you're using.
And with the current trend for syncing a modern distro to an internet served package tree, a book can be obsoleted within seconds of the author submitting the final copy to the printer.

I realize that you don't know much about me, probably nothing outside this thread, so lets confuse the thread still further... I have successfully installed and rebooted:

RedHat 4.0, 5.0, 6.0, 7.1
Slackware 8.something, Debian Woody, Peanut, Knoppix, Mandrake 7.2, 8.0, 8.1, 8.2 (retail 8.2, which includes lousy books).

I have not suceeded in rebooting Gentoo and IcePack.

I'm certain, SlickWillie, that ONE book could never be such a universal reference. I've been running Linux on several home project boxes for over 2 years. I'm not saying that Arch needs the docs, I'm saying I need some assistance getting any distro, any command to tell me where its object configuration files are written. If the concept evades you, maybe you need to step away from the mouse for a spell, and see what other answers arise.
Quote:
I'm afraid though, that you're ultimately going to be frustrated. What you ask is simply 'not possible(tm)'. No one tool can hope to document the feature set, configuration, running, application, security aspects and whatever else for *every* program in a unix system.
SlickWillie, I'm referring to parsing through the source code; repeat the mantra, source code, source code.
Quote:
This isn't Windows. Lots of people write stuff for Linux, which gets included. Some are better at documenting than others..
You are, essentially, restating part of my reason for asking for the method.... I already know why I want the method....
Quote:
At best you can get to know a couple of tools. lsof for instance...

Pick a running process...

lsof | grep <process name>

to see a list of files it currently has open. But that's a hack anyway, and you'll not be happy with it, because it won't, for instance, tell you what file it used for it's configuration - having opened that, read it, and closed it...

But still.. how did I know about that command? I read a book, looked at the internet, and generally soaked up info.

Might I suggest a change of distro? It doesn't sound like Arch is your cup-of-tea. Redhat with a book or two might suit you alot better?

Slick.
I think that you just keep missing the point. We all get so acustomed to rearranging the confused newbies questions that we forget that there is intelligent life out here.

Please, consider my question to be a question of parsing source code for file declarations; I need to know if programming languages use some standard internal command(s).... never mind, a programmer just walked by.
 
Old 01-02-2003, 07:53 PM   #10
DavidPhillips
Guru
 
Registered: Jun 2001
Location: South Alabama
Distribution: Fedora / RedHat / SuSE
Posts: 7,155

Rep: Reputation: 56
All I can say is I have used Unix for a while now, I am happy to see that there is so much documentation for Linux. In fact there is more documentation for Linux than anything I've ever seen before.

I guess I just can't see why anyone would be so critical of something that's freely available and took the work of someone to develop. Many people may be language challanged as well, and they have taken the time to try and provide what they felt was enough documentation for someone to use their application.


About books..

I have a Linux book that's years old, and surprisingly it can still be applied to the Linux systems I have today.

It's not like you can write a complete updated manual for something that's still being developed.
 
Old 01-03-2003, 09:01 AM   #11
dunbar
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2002
Location: Central New Hampster
Distribution: PCLinuxOS 2009.1, UNR 9.04
Posts: 53

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Books: Mandrake 8.2 came with books, useless books which teach me to launch this KDE proggie and click that button. Nothing covers CLI with any appreciable depth. I have manuals for RedHat 5.0, useless manuals for todays distro.

Websites: I have visited websites such as LDP, I got useless tutorials that get way too deeply involved with an obsolete realtek NIC and which tutorials never tell you which version of the commands were used for the tutorial, now which kernel, nor which distro. I see 3 - 5 year old tutorials for Xfree, some going back to Xfree 2.0.X, totally useless information for todays Xfree 4.2.X. Or is it 4.3.X?

I'm negative? Who, in their right mind, would think that obsolete data is an answer? Hint: nobody from Windows land would ever believe a help file from Windows 3.11 would be useful today, so when I say something is useless, I am condemned for deprecating the ancient scroll?

You folks are fooled by your own familiarity, you haven't been a newbie for a looooong time. And when you were a newbie, the obsoleted data was actually current - no wonder you think it remains useful! When was the last time you did a full install from the CLI? I'd venture you either resync your current install to a remote server or maybe you run an update CD. Newbies would not do this.

Further, when was the last time you had to install a NIC with zero knowledge of the purpose of eth0? never knowing about /etc/rc.local, with a screwed up lilo.conf?

You people are out of touch with BEING a newbie.
Go soak your heads.
 
Old 01-03-2003, 04:34 PM   #12
DavidPhillips
Guru
 
Registered: Jun 2001
Location: South Alabama
Distribution: Fedora / RedHat / SuSE
Posts: 7,155

Rep: Reputation: 56
I agree somewhat on the windows comments, but I don't see the relationship from Linux and Microsoft Windows.

We're talking about one companies software, compared with many peoples software bundled together that we are calling Linux.

But you just gotta love those windows help wizards.

Is it plugged in? yes / no / I don't know
Is it turned on? yes / no / I don't know

Did this fix it? yes / no / I don't know

I'm sorry you have reached then end of the troubleshooting wizard.

Priceless!

Last edited by DavidPhillips; 01-03-2003 at 04:36 PM.
 
Old 01-03-2003, 05:37 PM   #13
Nu-Bee
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2002
Location: USA
Distribution: Mandrake 9.2
Posts: 269

Rep: Reputation: 30
Re: man/info pages no help

Quote:
Originally posted by dunbar


Unless I have somehow missed something????

Where can I, on my 'crashed' Linux box, find an explanation of 'what commands are affecting what configuration files'? Right now, that would help me greatly.
Thankfully Mandrake-Linux has a very nice set of on-computer docs that you can read with Konquerer...all HTML.

Get Mandrake 9.0 and have a ball.
 
Old 01-03-2003, 06:43 PM   #14
DavidPhillips
Guru
 
Registered: Jun 2001
Location: South Alabama
Distribution: Fedora / RedHat / SuSE
Posts: 7,155

Rep: Reputation: 56
that's very true I am impressed with their documentation
and if the linux box is crashed you can open the docs on the documentation cd on another computer
 
Old 01-07-2003, 08:35 AM   #15
dunbar
Member
 
Registered: Dec 2002
Location: Central New Hampster
Distribution: PCLinuxOS 2009.1, UNR 9.04
Posts: 53

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Where can I, on my 'crashed' Linux box, find an explanation of 'what commands are affecting what configuration files'?

Can I grep the source code to get filenames?
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
C++ man pages Guest1234 Ubuntu 0 05-11-2005 03:45 AM
What do you mean by MAN pages? inspectreo Linux - Newbie 2 05-08-2005 03:12 PM
Looking for man ppp-on and info ppp-on pages. rvijay Linux - General 1 02-26-2005 09:49 PM
howto access man and info pages? SciYro Programming 5 07-23-2004 12:21 PM
How to quit man (less) and keep man info on screen? peb Linux - Newbie 7 03-25-2004 11:02 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:39 AM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration