Easy To Understand Man Pages For Every Linux User
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The pages are viewed through a utility called, man, and the command to use it is rather easy. In the simplest form, to use man, you type man on the command line, followed by a space and the command that you want to look up, such as ls or cp, like so:
Individual man pages are made to show blocks of information. For example, every man page has a NAME section to show the name of the command along with a brief description. There will be another block of information, called SYNOPSIS to show how the command is used, and so on.
Those manuals inspired what are called man pages, short for manual pages, and are included with every Unix and Linux OS. This system became so crucial to Linux that it gave birth to the man program, which makes it easy to read man pages.
Comfort with accessing man pages and defining keyword searches is an essential Linux user skill. In fact, system documentation in general, and man pages specifically, are called out in the Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) exam objectives.
The info pages play a similar role to man pages, though they tend to be a little more user-friendly. The man pages are basically a short, terse reference, while info pages tend more toward readability and deeper explanations. The info page system also supports basic linking between documents for easier cross-referencing. This provides a more structured and readable documentation set.
Man pages are simply manual pages created to help users understand how commands are used in Linux. These pages are installed, by default, alongside the commands. As long as the software developer created a man page, it'll be there to help explain how to use a specific command. What's interesting about this system is that it depends on a command itself. That command is man, which serves as an interface to the system reference manuals. Man pages are laid out fairly in a fairly simple fashion but can be a bit daunting at first. Let's break down the structure of these pages.
Not every man page will include every section you see above, but they most always have the basics (NAME, SYNOPSIS, OPTIONS), so you can get up to speed on the command. Some man pages even include examples of how the command is used and many man pages will list out every single option available to the command.
And that's all there is to using man pages in Linux. If you're a casual desktop user, you might never have to touch this help system. If, however, you plan on eventually moving up the ladder of Linux usage (such as server administration), the man command could easily become your best tech friend.
Man pages are long and sometimes difficult to scroll through to find the information you need. The man command allows users to display man pages in a browser to find information easily.
The Linux command line offers a wealth of power and opportunity. If your memory is like mine then you find it hard to remember a large number of details. Fortunately for us there is an easy to use resource that can inform us about all the great things we can do on the command line. That's what we're going to learn about in this section. I know you're keen and eager to get stuck into doing stuff, and we'll get started on that in the next section, I promise, first we need to learn how to use Manual pages however.
The manual pages are a set of pages that explain every command available on your system including what they do, the specifics of how you run them and what command line arguments they accept. Some of them are a little hard to get your head around but they are fairly consistent in their structure so once you get the hang of it it's not too bad. You invoke the manual pages with the following command:
The web and file browser in KDE also contains an excellent man and info page viewer. Simply type man:foo or info:/foo in the address bar. It is easy to print from Konqueror, and easy to select individual man or info pages for printing.
Even though some folks think that info pages are unnecessarily complicated to navigate, it is worth getting acquainted with them. Even though they are more difficult to navigate than man pages, they are (usually) easier to understand. Once you get the hang of moving around in them, you can go very fast and find information quickly. Info pages often contain more information than man pages, and they sometimes include tutorials and extensive examples.
There are also a number of nice info viewers, such as pinfo, Konqueror, and Yelp. Pinfo runs in the console, and Konqueror and Yelp need X. Konqueror is especially easy to navigate and to use for printing selected pages.
I understand that a man page is divided into parts: NAME, SYNOPSIS, DESCRIPTION, OPTIONS, EXPRESSIONS, EXAMPLES, etc.But I have no clue what all the options mean. Like, how many parameters every option should have, their dependencies etc.
there is no any other best thing than manual pages which can teach you using linux.another subsuttite for man pages is info command but that shows the same content as that of man. just read the man page again and again until you understand it or at end what you can do is search for examples of that command.
For the Fourth Edition the man pages were formatted using the troff typesetting package and its set of -man macros (which were completely revised between the Sixth and Seventh Editions of the Manual, but have since not drastically changed). At the time, the availability of online documentation through the manual page system was regarded as a great advance. To this day, virtually every Unix command line application comes with a man page, and many Unix users perceive a program's lack of man pages as a sign of low quality; indeed, some projects, such as Debian, go out of their way to write man pages for programs lacking one. The modern descendants of 4.4BSD also distribute man pages as one of the primary forms of system documentation (having replaced the old -man macros with the newer -mdoc).
Some Unix systems have a package for the man2html command, which enables users to browse their man pages using an HTML browser. Systems with groff and man-db should use the higher-quality native HTML output (man --html) instead.The GNU Emacs program WoMan (from "WithOut man") allows to browse man pages from the editor.
Other groff requests appear on lines beginning with a dot(.). On line 1, we see that the.TH request is used to set the title of the manpage to COFFEE, the man section to1, and the date of the last man page revision.(Recall that man section 1 is used for user commands, section 2 isfor system calls, and so forth. The man mancommand details each section number.) On line 2, the.SH request is used to start a section, entitledNAME. Note that almost all Unix man pages usethe section progression NAME,SYNOPSIS, DESCRIPTION,FILES, SEE ALSO,NOTES, AUTHOR, andBUGS, with extra, optional sections as needed.This is just a convention used when writing man pages and isn'tenforced by the software at all.
If you wish to make the man page available for others to viewon your system, you need to install the groff source in a directorythat is present in other users' MANPATH. Thelocation for standard man pages is /usr/man. The source for section1 man pages should therefore go in /usr/man/man1. Therefore, thecommand:
To search for information in man pages by specifying keywords, start by creatingindex files that can be queried by the man command. You can usethe catman utility to create preformatted versions of the online reference manual. Whenused without any options, the catman utility generates index files of theman pages that are in the /usr/share/man and usr/gnu/share/man directories. Note that youmust be the root user to use the catman utility.
GNU has a library called GNU gettext that makes it easy to translate themessages in a program into various languages. You should use thislibrary in every program. Use English for the messages as they appearin the program, and let gettext provide the way to translate them intoother languages.
For example, each program in the GNU system probably ought to bedocumented in one manual; but this does not mean each program shouldhave its own manual. That would be following the structure of theimplementation, rather than the structure that helps the userunderstand.
So you have finally finished your long awaited program! After months of coding in some cryptic programming language, version 1.0 is ready to be distributed to the masses. Problem is... what does your program do? How does it work? What options does it have? Got a manual page? No? How will you ever tell all those people who email you with questions like, "How do I use program foo???" with "RTFM!"? Ah... you need a manual page. This tutorial will give you a quick introduction into writing manual pages. It is not hard. With a little patience, everything will be fine. But first, why bother with a manual page? It is after all, much easier to simply just create a plain old ASCII text README file. But it is also much simpler to just type man command, rather than searching for your README file which could very well be located anywhere. And so, manuals make this easier. No need to search for anything at all. Just type the command, and you have it.
Manual pages have a particular format. When you run the manual page for any program, you will normally find some very common sections. These sections are in bold and capital letters. They are, in order of appearance: NAME SYNOPSIS DESCRIPTION OPTIONS BUGS AUTHOR SEE ALSOThese sections appear 90% of the time in any descent manual page. You will no doubt find other sections, though they are not the very common ones, and are added for extra information for the program. Now for a description on what each section is used for: NAMEThis is the name of the program, followed by a short (read: short) description of what it does or what the name stands for if it is in an acronym. This will be read by apropos, man -k, makewhatis and whatis. SYNOPSISBasically, this is the syntax used to run your program from the command line. An example would be like: foo [-d] [-e] [ -f filename] DESCRIPTIONThis is where you describe what the program does. Because this is what the user is most likely going to look at first, it is important that this section is clear. If the user does not understand what is written here, you can expect your inbox to be filled with emails. OPTIONSIf your program uses options, as in the above SYNOPSIS section, this is where you explain what each option does. For instance, what does [-d] do when it is given as an argument to program foo? Explain here. BUGSIf there are any bugs in your program, or anything that does not work the way you want it to, put it here so the user knows. AUTHORYour name followed by your email address. Your email address is important here for a couple of reasons. Firstly, people can give you bug reports so you can fix up your program. Secondly, if you get stupid emails, you can reply with RTFM. SEE ALSOIf your program is related in a way to another program, specify the program's name here, followed by its section number. For instance, program foo is a text editor. You might want to make references to say, the vi text editor as: vi(1) Now that you have a much better understanding on the format of the manual pages, it is time to learn how the manual page is printed to the screen when the man command is given. 2b1af7f3a8