Manual Pages is one stop help for the commands and utilities in Linux OS. To read the manual pages
man command is used.
$ man uptime $ man dmidecode
One line descriptions of manual pages can be displayed using
$ whatis uptime $ whatis dmidecode
Manual Pages database can be used to search for the short description of the command. It can also be used to search for the command if you don’t know the command itself by searching for keywords.
$ man -k copy $ man -k authentication $ apropos move
In order to create the Manual Pages database run command
mandb as root user.
Manual Pages has 9 sections in which the manual pages are classified.
- Executable programs or shell commands
- System calls (functions provided by the kernel)
- Library calls (functions within program libraries)
- Special files (usually found in /dev)
- File formats and conventions eg /etc/passwd
- Miscellaneous (including macro packages and conventions), e.g. man(7), groff(7)
- System administration commands (usually only for root)
- Kernel routines [Non-standard]
Non-standard sections are as given below.
- Header files
- Header files (POSIX)
- Executable programs or shell commands (POSIX)
- Network Functions
- Perl Modules
- Local documentation
- New manpages
Sometimes we have the same command name and file name like in case of
passwd. Sometimes we have the same name for command and library call like in case of
printf. In such case, we have to mention section number to see the respective manual page entry.
$ man -f passwd $ man passwd $ man 5 passwd $ man printf $ man 3 printf
To read the history of Manual Pages click Here
GNU Information Pages are also helpful to find about what the command does.
$ pinfo uptime
DOCUMENTATION IN /USR/SHARE/DOC
The documentation can be read using file reading commands or by using a text editor.