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When googling for linux commands, I often see a number in parenthesis like this:


What does it mean?
Is it a version number of the program, reference to some standard, or what?

marked as duplicate by jasonwryan, bsd, Thomas Nyman, Anthon, Ulrich Dangel Sep 28 '14 at 10:53

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • not duplicate, as asker don't know whether it is referring to a man page. – Tejas Sep 28 '14 at 9:05
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    @Tejas where else do you see the name of a command followed by a number in parentheses? – jasonwryan Sep 28 '14 at 9:44
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    You are right but still I think this question is different. – Tejas Sep 28 '14 at 10:01
  • Still a reason to close as duplicate, so this closed question will redirect to the one it's duplicating. That prevents duplication of answers and people having to search all over the place and compare answers – Anthon Sep 28 '14 at 10:20

The number refers the section in the system's reference manual in which the corresponding page resides, e.g. for command date, (date(1), in your case), 1 refers to the "user commands" section, which can be accessed by executing the command man 1 date.

See also man man. It lists all the standard sections:

The standard sections of the manual include:

  1      User Commands

  2      System Calls

  3      C Library Functions

  4      Devices and Special Files

  5      File Formats and Conventions

  6      Games et. Al.

  7      Miscellanea

  8      System Administration tools and Deamons

Distributions customize the manual section to their specifics, which often include additional sections.

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