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49

kill [ -s signal | -p ] This syntax in a manual page means: You can use kill -s signal or you can use kill -p, but you can't use both -s and -p at the same time. The pipe (|) stands for (exclusive) or in the documentation, it's not part of the command. When you type foo | bar in your shell, it will attempt to start foo and bar, and pipe the ...


30

I think you're getting tripped on the fact that there is a builtin command to Bash called kill, along with the command kill. $ type -a kill kill is a shell builtin kill is /usr/bin/kill kill is /bin/kill The man page you're reading is referring to the kill command located under /bin. Use the full path to summon it: $ /bin/kill -p sleep 16486 ...


12

The font is Donald Knuth's Computer Modern. The documentation was no doubt created with LaTeX (or maybe even plain TeX). (Actually, these are both confirmed by the PDF metadata.) (Edit: Poking around a bit more, it looks like, strictly speaking the documentation is created in a base format, which, thanks to GNU texinfo is exported to a variety of formats, ...


11

I've found that using Perl's POD is much easier than writing man pages directly, and you can create a man page from the POD file with the pod2man utility (part of the base Perl package). Since some of your executables are already written in Perl, you can add POD formatting directly to your scripts and they can be turned into POD files directly. I've also ...


11

Yes it would be more consistent. This has nothing to do with cross-platform and everything to do with developers not writing (wanting to write) documentation. a man page is documentation, --help is mostly programming in nature. I've also seen the case where man pages didn't exist because the developer didn't know how to make one, or convert the documentation ...


11

To get proficient with unix, you will need to work on it regularly. Practise makes perfect. Firstly, I would suggest that you pick a Linux distribution. Don't worry too much about picking the best one for you yet, when you are ready you will find the one. For a beginner, a distro like Ubuntu will be good enough. Problems will arise, be ready for them. Ask ...


10

For bash, the primary resource is man bash. For builtins specifically, there is the help builtin. Here is a quote from help printf. In addition to the standard format specifications described in printf(1) and printf(3), printf interprets: %b expand backslash escape sequences in the corresponding argument %q quote the argument in a way ...


8

help is a bash command. It uses internal bash structures to store and retrieve information about bash commands. man is a macro set for the troff (via groff) processor. The output of processing a single file is sent to a pager by the man command by default. info is a text-only viewer for archives in the info format output of Texinfo.


8

Run type caller and you will see it is a shell built-in. Running help caller will show its function, reported as well in bash's manual page. Briefly Return the context of the current subroutine call.


8

pinfo was designed to emulate the behavior of the lynx web browser and make browsing info pages easier to do. Its interface and formatting abilities are somewhat more advanced than the original info was and it also supports viewing man pages including colorizing them. It has a little bit more understanding of the content it is viewing, and can extract and ...


8

The signal(7) man page (at least the one I have) shows multiple possible numbers for some of the signals. If you can get kill to list the numbers, they should be correct for the running system. Try: kill -l or kill -L In both cases, that's an "ell" (for "list"), not a "one". Bash's built-in kill -l shows a nice numbered table. Linux's procps kill ...


8

help is a bash built-in, providing help for bash commands only man is the traditional form of help for almost every command on your system, and not only, sometimes also configuration files have their own man page. In Linux distros organized in packages, the relative text is in general provided from the same package providing the command. If you have ...


8

You can create a simple shell function and place it in your .bashrc: readme() { if [ -e /usr/share/doc/"$1"/README.Debian ]; then "$PAGER" /usr/share/doc/"$1"/README.Debian else echo "No README for $1" fi } Use: $ readme vlc $Id: README.Debian 1436 2008-08-31 23:06:34Z xtophe-guest $ Notes for anyone wanting to build Debian packages of ...


7

I found the LVM HOW-TO to be very clear. It has probably more info than you want from a first-time tutorial, but reading sections 1. to 3. and 11. to 13. should give you a comprehensive introduction to LVM concepts and its usage in live systems; these days, most Linux distribution have good LVM support out-of-the-box, so you can safely skip the ...


7

I agree with xenoterracide - both would be nice... I expect --help to report functionality and options real short. I expect man (or info...) to describe in detail what was previously reported by --help, maybe provide some examples, background etc.


7

The authoritative source of what is in /proc is documented in the kernel source tree in Documentation/filesystem/proc.txt. That references Documentation/sysctl as the document that describes /proc/sys. That document references others in the kernel source tree documentation, so be prepared to navigate through that tree. Those links are to a gitweb interface, ...


7

This answer focuses on Bash. Probably the advanced bash scripting guide can help you. It has even be translated to French (on traduc.org). Also read the pitfalls and the FAQ from Greg's wiki.


7

A large amount of TLDP is obsolete. The howtos are usually good, but many of them are seriously out of date and contain advice that is now counterproductive. Check the date of each howto before deciding whether to read and trust it. Even back in the day, howtos were not to be followed blindly. For example, many howtos start with instructions on compiling ...


6

Full Circle Magazine Full Circle is a free, independent, monthly magazine dedicated to the Ubuntu family of Linux operating systems. Each month, it contains helpful how-to articles and reader submitted stories.


6

You probably have the man page for echo because most systems have an echo binary in /bin, even though most shells provide a built-in anyway; you're seeing the man page for that binary. The man pages for all the other commands you're missing are in the POSIX Programmer's Manual (man section 1P). How to install it will depend on your distro; on Gentoo they're ...


6

The character explicitly specifies the section that the manual page is part of. On most Unices, the section definitions are as follows: General/user commands System calls Library functions Special files and drivers File formats Games and screensavers Miscellanea and conventions System administration commands, priveleged commands, and daemons Kernel ...


6

Source code is going to be your best bet. You can in a pinch use the command strings to get some basic ideas about a binary and text that it may contain. Example Here are the first 20 lines of the output. These are the lines that contain the string "error" in them. $ strings /usr/sbin/mkfs.ext3 | grep -i error | head -20 Syntax error in mke2fs config file ...


5

A unified SDK implies a single source for all the core libraries. That just isn't the way open source operating systems work. Bits and pieces come from all over, and they're all separately documented. EDIT: If paper's not a problem for you, the closest thing to what you're asking for is Advanced Programming in the Unix Environment 2/e by Stevens and Rago. ...


5

My suggestion would be to NOT start out with a "beginner" distro like Ubuntu. How many *nix servers have a GUI running on them? What I did was start out with Slackware (http://www.slackware.com) and learned how to install, configure, and use a *nix system. Slackware is a hands-on system that requires you know what you're doing to make things happen. ...


5

In addition to the web links, you can also install the POSIX man pages, e.g. on a Debian-like system they are available as manpages-posix-dev package. Then you can lookup the POSIX version of say - the read system call - via: $ man 3p read Or the mv command $ man 1p mv Just add a p to the usual man page section number. 'to get a better understanding ...


5

Unix manual pages come in "sections"; see man man for what they mean (on most platforms; I assume yours will document it in there.) Section 1 is "user commands", and that means "the manual page from section 1 for ls". You will find that crontab(1) and crontab(5) are an example of where you have more than one page under a single name in different sections. ...


5

If you talk about simplest usage information optional parameters are listed in []. For example usage section from man: usage: man [-adfhktwW] [section] [-M path] [-P pager] [-S list] [-m system] [-p string] name ... So if your script can accept option1 and option2 but they aren't mandatory you can display it like this: script [option1] [option2]


5

First you need to install doc-base package, which registers all documentation that is not man pages or info files. Then you use one of the following packages - dwww, dhelp, doc-central, yelp, or khelpcenter4 - to view it. Source: Debian FAQ: What other documentation exists on and for a Debian system?


5

You have to look at the manual for the specific shell you are using as the exact syntax for using these constructs can vary between shells. Most likely you are using bash, so you would do man bash. Although there are many cases where you might be using something else. For example many distros use a POSIX shell for boot scripts (eg Debian uses dash) or a ...



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