A few years ago I recall using the terminal and reading a tutorial in the Linux manual (using man) on how a computer worked after it was turned on. It walked you through the whole process explaining the role of the BIOS, ROM, RAM and OS on this process.

Which page was this, if any? How can I read it again?

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    @SatoKatsura It's better to ask and risk having one's question closed than to be forever wondering.
    – Kusalananda
    May 9, 2017 at 17:42
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    Thank you all, Kusalananda's answer is what I'm looking for. And a big apology to everybody but since english is not my native language it was hard to remember this simple word "boot" that it would saved everyone's time on this topic. Off I go to continue surfing through man
    – juliotv
    May 9, 2017 at 17:50
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    @juliotv It's "short" for bootstrapping en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bootstrapping May 9, 2017 at 17:52
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    It will include things other than just the boot process, but you might want to take at How Linux Works - What Every Superuser Should Know by Brian Ward
    – JBentley
    May 9, 2017 at 23:04
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    I'm voting to reopen this question as I don't think it's off-topic. Requests for general learning materials are off-topic but not requests for "official documentation". My (personal) opinion is that the on-line manuals (as read with man) constitutes the "official documentation" on a system.
    – Kusalananda
    May 10, 2017 at 7:45

2 Answers 2


You're thinking of the boot(7) manual (man 7 boot) and/or the bootup(7) manual (man 7 bootup). Those are the manuals I can think of on (Ubuntu) Linux that best fits your description.

These manuals are available on the web (see links above), but the definite text is what's available on the system that you are using. If a web-based manual says one thing but the manual on your system says another thing, then the manual on your system is the more correct one for you. This goes for all manuals.

See also the "See also" section in those manuals.

This other question may also be of interest: How does the Linux or Unix " / " get mounted during bootup?

For a non-Linux take on the boot process, the OpenBSD first-stage system bootstrap (biosboot(8)) and second-stage bootstrap (boot(8)) manuals, followed by rc(8), may be interesting.

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    Can you expand your answer to help OP understand how you knew to look at that particular manpage? I think that is important because many linux beginners learn "read the manpage" but for anything other than man the-command-i-want-to-use it isn't immediately obvious how to find the table of contents or index of man pages to find the right one to read.
    – Freiheit
    May 9, 2017 at 20:34
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    @Freiheit I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't anything more to it than having remembered that that particular man page is the one with the relevant content. There's no ToC or index of man pages. There is the apropos command which searches man pages, and most standard ones are online and searchable by Google, but that doesn't always get you to the page you want.
    – David Z
    May 10, 2017 at 1:13
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    @David that depends on the tool you use; xman for example does provide a table of contents for each section (basically, it lists all the manpages in the section — it could be better though, it only gives the manpages’ short names, not their full name which includes a short description). May 10, 2017 at 7:51
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    @Freiheit On many systems there's an intro manual for each section. These often point to further manuals or gives a summary of relevant information not specific to one sub-section. See for example man 1 intro, man 2 intro etc.
    – Kusalananda
    May 10, 2017 at 9:41

It sounds like boot(7) or bootup(7). ie man 7 bootup

You can, incidentally, search the manual via man -k <keyword> or the equivalent but more stylish apropos command.

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