What do the numbers in a man page mean?
I see functions referred to with numbers in the parenthesis in documentation. What does this mean? It takes one argument? Sorry, noob.
Unix manual pages come in "sections"; see
Section 1 is "user commands", and that means "the manual page from section 1 for ls".
You will find that
To access it from the command line run
You can also use
(Why is this? Because when man pages are printed as books, the sections are how the content breaks down into useful references. Not that you often see that any more, but way back when...)
Depending on the operating system the sections are broken down differently, Wikipedia's entry for man page has a nice explanation. But for instance, on BSD, Linux and UNIX - section '3' is reserved for library functions (particularly those in the standard C library). So if you're writing C code you can fine-tune your section lookup to make results a bit quicker.
Man Page Section List for BSD, Linux, UNIX variants: (by way of wikipedia)