I have read in many places that section 1 is about User Commands , section 2 about kernel API , section 3 about C library ...so on and so forth.

My question is this:

How do you get to the short desriptions (like above) of the type of contents in man's sections from the command line (not some other source, but the command line)

PS: I'm using a Fedora 19 desktop

1 Answer 1


In the man page of man itself (this is about as meta as it gets :) ):

man man

Or to be more specific (see jordanm's comment):

man 1 man

to get the page man(1).

Quoting from the above:

The table below shows the section numbers of the manual followed by the types of pages they contain.

   1   Executable programs or shell commands
   2   System calls (functions provided by the kernel)
   3   Library calls (functions within program libraries)
   4   Special files (usually found in /dev)
   5   File formats and conventions eg /etc/passwd
   6   Games
   7   Miscellaneous (including macro  packages  and  conventions),
       e.g. man(7), groff(7)
   8   System administration commands (usually only for root)
   9   Kernel routines [Non standard]

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