Download your favorite Linux distribution at LQ ISO.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
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!


  Search this Thread
Old 08-24-2012, 11:59 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2012
Posts: 2

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
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.

Old 08-24-2012, 12:11 PM   #2
Registered: Jul 2012
Location: Austin, Texas
Distribution: Linux Mint 17 Cinnamon
Posts: 34

Rep: Reputation: 4 has a very interesting list of command line tricks.
And here are more...

If you want to see all the switches for a given command, look it up here:

Last edited by austintx; 08-24-2012 at 12:17 PM.
Old 08-24-2012, 01:48 PM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Aug 2012
Posts: 2

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
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
Registered: Feb 2008
Distribution: Debian Testing
Posts: 169

Rep: Reputation: 32
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.
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 08-24-2012, 06:26 PM   #5
David the H.
Bash Guru
Registered: Jun 2004
Location: Osaka, Japan
Distribution: Arch + Xfce
Posts: 6,852

Rep: Reputation: 2037Reputation: 2037Reputation: 2037Reputation: 2037Reputation: 2037Reputation: 2037Reputation: 2037Reputation: 2037Reputation: 2037Reputation: 2037Reputation: 2037
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.


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
find hidden disk usage nuliknol Linux - Software 6 08-30-2013 10:24 AM
find hidden files from wild card path using 'find' nagendrar Linux - Newbie 5 10-13-2011 11:48 PM
Is there anyway to find the task switches from gdb coredump? sree_ec Programming 3 03-16-2011 01:35 AM
trying to find a hidden process after chkrootkit dave247 Debian 1 11-19-2008 01:57 PM
Find hidden executable files Wynd Linux - General 2 06-09-2003 04:09 AM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:30 AM.

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