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Old 06-30-2007, 10:40 AM   #1
rich paul fox
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problem navigating man files with in bash

Hi, I am slavishly trying to follow a linux book (Prep Kit General Linux 1).
I have just started and am attempting to navigate the man pages.
I have attempted to enter 'man -K password' hoping to see a page with a list of pages querying if I wish to view them.
When I do this I get an error message:

richard@richard-desktop:~$ man -K password
man: invalid option -- K
usage: man [-c|-f|-k|-w|-tZT device] [-i|-I] [-adlhu7V] [-Mpath] [-Ppager]
[-Cfile] [-Slist] [-msystem] [-pstring] [-Llocale] [-eextension]
[section] page ...
-a, --all find all matching manual pages.
-d, --debug emit debugging messages.
-e, --extension limit search to extension type `extension'.
-f, --whatis equivalent to whatis.
-k, --apropos equivalent to apropos.
-w, --where, --location print physical location of man page(s).
-W, --where-cat,
--location-cat print physical location of cat file(s).
-l, --local-file interpret `page' argument(s) as local filename(s).
-u, --update force a cache consistency check.
-i, --ignore-case look for pages case-insensitively (default).
-I, --match-case look for pages case-sensitively.
-r, --prompt string provide the `less' pager with a prompt
-c, --catman used by catman to reformat out of date cat pages.
-7, --ascii display ASCII translation of certain latin1 chars.
-E, --encoding encoding use the selected nroff device and display in pager.
-t, --troff use groff to format pages.
-T, --troff-device device use groff with selected device.
-H, --html use lynx or argument to display html output.
-Z, --ditroff use groff and force it to produce ditroff.
-X, --gxditview use groff and display through gditview (X11):
-X = -TX75, -X100 = -TX100, -X100-12 = -TX100-12.
-D, --default reset all options to their default values.
-C, --config-file file use this user configuration file.
-M, --manpath path set search path for manual pages to `path'.
-P, --pager pager use program `pager' to display output.
-S, --sections list use colon separated section list.
-m, --systems system search for man pages from other unix system(s).
-L, --locale locale define the locale for this particular man search.
-p, --preprocessor string string indicates which preprocessors to run.
e - [n]eqn p - pic t - tbl
g - grap r - refer v - vgrind
-V, --version show version.

I have succesfully used the similar command with lower case 'k', but using the upper case gives me this.

I am using linux mint cassandar in a terminal in bash.

Thanks for any help please.

Rich Fox
Old 06-30-2007, 11:30 AM   #2
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Unless I've mis-understood your question, just like the output says "man: invalid option -- K". Use the -k option to search the man pages. Use lowercase k, not uppercase K.
Old 06-30-2007, 04:04 PM   #3
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man -k password | less

to list all of the appropriate pages containing password.
Also, like what bsdunix said use 'man man' to peruse through.
Finally, check out
man less (press h for movement commands) all the man pages on web


Last edited by whk; 07-04-2007 at 03:01 PM.
Old 07-02-2007, 07:11 AM   #4
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In other words (and for future ref), all Unix variants are CASE-SENSITIVE at the cmd line.
Generally though, lowercase is the one to use, at least for cmd names. Cmd options/switches eg -k can be either case, BUT, the lower and uppercase versions will have completely different effects, as shown by the output you got from man.
Again, on average, most options will be lowercase.

Last edited by chrism01; 07-02-2007 at 08:59 PM.
Old 07-02-2007, 07:24 AM   #5
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Yeah Linux is case sensitive period in basically every aspect. And you will find for some commands (not all of them, but most) that a lowercase option does one thing while an uppercase one does something else. This is why doing a help option first will be helpful so you know what works with a particular command. Another thing to consider too is that Linux does not handle filenames/directoy names the same way Windows does. Like in Windows if a directory contained spaces you could put the spaces say in a cd command and it goes on its merry way. In Linux you can't and it will say the directory does not exist. As a solution I usually put a directory with spaces in double quotes so that way it will work.
Old 07-02-2007, 10:26 AM   #6
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If you have KDE, you can use konqueror to format, display, and search your manpages.
Open konqueror, put man:password in the address bar and press return. It's good.

Last edited by tredegar; 07-02-2007 at 12:09 PM. Reason: "Disable smilies in text" !
Old 07-02-2007, 08:58 PM   #7
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Also, there are complete sets of manpages, plus variations, avail on the web as html, so you might find that easier to read, especially for bash, which is just 1 humungous man page and not really usable, imho.
This Linux guide is much more readable:


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