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Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!

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Old 02-12-2005, 12:32 AM   #1
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I don't understand man pages


I am lost and need guidance. I installed slackware 10.1 onto my laptop and am slowly learning to use linux. I have learned that I need to use the man pages however, I don't understand them. To me they are just confusing. So I looked on the web for a description to understanding the man pages but the best I could find was a chapter in a book (linux cookbook) to read at safari but I don't subscribe so I could only read the brief message they have on it.

Perhaps it is just me but I don't understand the windows help files either. If someone could point me to a site, tutorial, or whatever that explains how to understand the man pages I would appreciate it. I know that once I understand them it will be easyier to use and run linux.
 
Old 02-12-2005, 12:48 AM   #2
Berhanie
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The three most important things:

(1) If you know the name of a command and you want to learn more about it, such as its syntax, options, etc., you would simply type "man command_name" (for example, to find out about the ls command, type "man ls".

(2) If you know the name of a command and only want a very short summary about what it does, type "man -f command_name".

(3) If you are looking for a command whose name you don't know, you type "man -k key_word", where key_word is a word which is closely associated with the function of the command. For example, if you're looking for a program to burn a CD ROM, you might try "man -k record".

Last edited by Berhanie; 02-12-2005 at 12:52 AM.
 
Old 02-12-2005, 12:50 AM   #3
btmiller
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Well if it's any consolation, I didn't understand 'em either at first. The man pages are mostly written with the assumption that you have some vague idea of what's going on. If you're a complete newbie, this often isn't the case. What this means is that you should read the man pages multiple times, the first time to get some rough idea, and the second and third time to fill in the details. If that's not working for you, Google on the command in question and see if you get some more help. If all else fails, ask here.

You should also invest in a good book such as Running Linux (published by O'Reilly). The Rute tutorial should also be on your reading list. It will help some.
 
Old 02-12-2005, 12:51 AM   #4
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http://www.ibiblio.org/pub/Linux/doc.../Man-Page.html
 
Old 02-12-2005, 01:19 AM   #5
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Thanks for the information and links. I'll continue to read, reread, and reread the commands I am looking up as well as look on google an the linux man page how to.
 
Old 02-12-2005, 09:19 AM   #6
jonaskoelker
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of course, there's the obvious one (and I'm surprised that no one mentioned it):

$ man man

-- Jonas
 
Old 02-14-2005, 01:18 AM   #7
cranestr
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In playing around with Fedora core 2. The other day I used one of the commands to bring up all the commands for a given letter of the alphabet. The next time I tried it, I couldn't get it to work. Is it "man" then the letter? Do I have to be in a certain directory to do it? A complete listing of all of the commands for the given distibution is what I am looking for. Once I have the commands, I can look them up with man.
 
Old 02-14-2005, 01:31 AM   #8
Artanicus
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Quote:
Originally posted by cranestr
In playing around with Fedora core 2. The other day I used one of the commands to bring up all the commands for a given letter of the alphabet. The next time I tried it, I couldn't get it to work. Is it "man" then the letter? Do I have to be in a certain directory to do it? A complete listing of all of the commands for the given distibution is what I am looking for. Once I have the commands, I can look them up with man.
Just hit tab a few times in a console / shell / whatever you call it And it will ask you something like this:
Code:
Display all 4581 possibilities? (y or n)
Just hit y, and youve got the list.. (:

Ofcourse you could first enter for eg. the letter a and them tab to get all the commands starting with a, or an<tab><tab> to get all starting with an* and so on..

The amount of tab presses varies on your distribution, some have it set up differently. In Slackware its 2 presses..

Last edited by Artanicus; 02-14-2005 at 01:32 AM.
 
  


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