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Questions tagged [man]

man - format and display the on-line manual pages ("on-line" meaning “on the computer”, as opposed to “on paper”, not “on the Internet”)

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1688
votes
3answers
338k views

Why does man print “gimme gimme gimme” at 00:30?

We've noticed that some of our automatic tests fail when they run at 00:30 but work fine the rest of the day. They fail with the message "gimme gimme gimme" in stderr, which wasn't expected. Why are ...
605
votes
8answers
167k views

What do the numbers in a man page mean?

So, for example, when I type man ls I see LS(1). But if I type man apachectl I see APACHECTL(8) and if I type man cd I end up with cd(n). I'm wondering what the significance of the numbers in the ...
366
votes
2answers
219k views

Ctrl-s hangs the terminal emulator?

I came across a sentence in vimdoc: Note: CTRL-S does not work on all terminals and might block further input, use CTRL-Q to get going again. and using CTRL-S indeed hangs my vim. I ...
116
votes
10answers
31k views

How to follow links in linux man pages?

Is there a way to follow the links mentioned in a man page? For example, here's the man page for ps; how do I access the link marked in red?
95
votes
11answers
18k views

How do I use man pages to learn how to use commands?

While researching another problem, I came across a command, locate something | xargs -I {} bash -c "if [ -d "{}" ]; then echo {}; fi" that I wanted to learn more about. So I ran man xargs and get ...
84
votes
25answers
59k views

Tricks and tips for finding information in man pages [closed]

Does anyone have any tricks and tips for finding information in man pages?
81
votes
7answers
35k views

Colors in Man Pages

When I look at a man page in my 'console' (not an xterm) I see some coloration, but I don't get this in my xterm's (e.g. konsole) is there any way I can enable this? hopefully a fairly simple solution?...
71
votes
2answers
121k views

What units of time does “top” use?

If I issue the "top" command and receive results such as: PID USER PR NI VIRT RES SHR S %CPU %MEM TIME+ COMMAND 00001 bob 25 0 77380 1212 1200 R 95.8 0.0 89122:13 fee ...
68
votes
5answers
11k views

What is GNU Info for?

I understand what GNU Info is and how to use it, but what is it for? Why does it exist in parallel to the man pages? Why not write detailed man pages rather than provide a separate utility?
68
votes
2answers
15k views

Can I get individual man pages for the bash builtin commands? [duplicate]

Is there anywhere you can download a manpage for every builtin commands? I know you can just use help or man bash and search to find info about it, but I want them separated, so I can just do man ...
60
votes
7answers
32k views

How to dump a man page?

How can I 'cat' a man page like I would 'cat' a file to get just a dump of the contents?
56
votes
4answers
6k views

Why don't man pages have examples?

Is there a reason why most man pages don't include a few common examples? They usually explain all the possible options, but that makes it even harder for a beginner to understand how it's "usually" ...
53
votes
1answer
2k views

How does `man git init` get the right man page?

So it seems that typing man git init into a bash prompt on an Ubuntu 14.04 system does the same as man git-init, only I'm not quite sure how. The man page for man (i.e. man man) doesn't seem to allow ...
52
votes
2answers
16k views

Documentation on LESS_TERMCAP_* variables?

I see these pretty colors in manpages viewed with less when setting a bunch of these variables. What do they mean, where is the documentation? Is this interpreted by less or termcap? screenshot
50
votes
3answers
4k views

Purpose of “ASCII text, with overstriking” file format

After downloading the source code for Bash, I was browsing through the doc directory and came across the following files: bash.1 is a regular troff file used to build the man page. bash.0 is like a ...
49
votes
6answers
17k views

How can I add man page entries for my own power tools?

I have no idea about how I can make my home-grown specialist scripts (written mostly in Bash and Perl) available through the man pages. What procedure would I have to follow, and is there a ...
48
votes
3answers
38k views

Difference between help, info and man command

I know that these command will help to get syntax and options for commands but my question is that how they differ from each other?
37
votes
3answers
39k views

Where is “showing the output of the 'ls' command vertically” documented?

I found out it's possible to show the output of the ls command vertically using the -1 switch: $ ls -1 But couldn't find it in the manual of ls. Is it a secret option?
36
votes
2answers
3k views

Which man page describes the process of a computer turning on?

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 ...
36
votes
2answers
3k views

Why do Unix man pages use double backticks in place of double quotes?

I've noticed that man pages and other documents formatted by Unix utilities often use double backticks `` followed by double single quotes '' to wrap quoted phrases instead of the double quote ...
35
votes
4answers
18k views

Understand synopsis in manpage

I have not been able to understand the SYNOPSIS section in the manpage of a command. For example, let's see the manpage of man itself. By man man: SYNOPSIS man [-C file] [-d] [-D] [--...
33
votes
9answers
4k views

Reading and searching long man pages

I finally got fed up when wanting to read about bash's read and it's -s option with man bash. I found the right spot eventually (around line 4500), but it was a frustrating as usual, since both /read ...
33
votes
3answers
3k views

Why don't shell builtins have proper man pages?

All shell builtins share the same manual page: BUILTIN(1) BSD General Commands Manual BUILTIN(1) NAME builtin, ! etc. Then there is a little text describing what ...
32
votes
5answers
12k views

How do you output a list of all man pages in a particular section?

A man page for fork, for example, is in the System Calls section that has number 2: man 2 fork How do you see what else is section 2 without resorting to Google?
31
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the deal with mandb and stray cats?

The man page for mandb refers to stray cats: -s, --no-straycats Do not spend time looking for or adding information to the databases regarding stray cats. There is no explanation ...
28
votes
8answers
2k views

Is there way to see `man` document only for specified option of a command

If I want to know the meaning of wget -b, I see the manual by man wget, then search the -b option. -b --background Go to background immediately after startup. If no output file is ...
27
votes
6answers
5k views

The UNIX and Linux SysAdm Handbook: Why are cached man pages a “security risk”?

The UNIX and Linux System Administration Handbook says: man maintains a cache of formatted pages in /var/cache/man or /usr/share/man if the appropriate directories are writable; however, this is a ...
27
votes
4answers
15k views

Make Less highlight search patterns instead of italicizing them

To my understanding man uses less as a pager, and when searching for keywords using less it "highlights" keywords with italics. I find that really inconvenient, so I'd like to change this to something ...
26
votes
2answers
6k views

Why does rm manual say that we can run it without any argument, when this is not true?

We can see that the synopsis of rm command is: rm [OPTION]... [FILE]... Doesn't it mean that we can use only rm command without any option or argument? When I run the command rm on its own, the ...
25
votes
4answers
19k views

How to search the whole manual pages on Linux?

Sometimes I need to look up certain words through all the manual pages. I am aware of apropos, but if I understand its manual right, it restricts search to the descriptions only. Each manual page ...
25
votes
2answers
7k views

Case insensitive search in man pages

Is there a way to search man pages case-insensitively? Using the '/' search feature matches exact case.
24
votes
2answers
2k views

Why didn't GNU Info succeed man?

As per my knowledge/understanding both help and man came at the same time or have very little time difference between them. Then GNU Info came in and from what I have seen is much more verbose, much ...
23
votes
4answers
9k views

How can I use man without less?

By default, man uses less to output text. How can I tell it to just output to stdout? My terminal emulator has a scroll bar and search function and I want to use those instead of the arrow keys.
23
votes
1answer
2k views

man does not work (too many arguments)

I get this an error when trying to run man on a Linux system: $ LC_ALL=C man man man: Too many arguments Try 'man --help' or 'man --usage' for more information. My man command doesn't seem to be an ...
23
votes
3answers
18k views

Where is the latest source code of man command for linux?

I'm looking for the latest source code of man command, the version in my Linux is pretty old(v1.6f), but I failed after googling a while. I mean the latest source code of man, not man-pages but the ...
22
votes
6answers
26k views

what do I need to do with “man: can't set the locale; make sure $LC_* and $LANG are correct”

I typed man sudoers but got man: can't set the locale; make sure $LC_* and $LANG are correct No manual entry for sudoers What does this mean?
20
votes
3answers
2k views

What does “on-line” mean, as used in man(1)?

On my system (Darwin 15.5.0), man(1) opens as follows: NAME man - format and display the on-line manual pages The file the page is formatted from, however, is clearly on disk: % man -w man /...
20
votes
1answer
1k views

How does “man” restore the screen when I quit the program?

If I open a man page of a program like cat or ls, it prints (may not be the appropriate word) the contents of the man page and when I press q, it shows the screen just like before invoking the man ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

Grep: unexpected results when searching for words in heading from man page

I'm running into weird behavior when trying to grep a man page on macOS. For example, the Bash man page clearly has an occurrence of the string NAME: $ man bash | head -5 | tail -1 NAME And if I ...
18
votes
4answers
4k views

How do I directly display a man page?

I'm writing a man page for a program that I am packaging. How can I display the manpage file that I created, to check if it's all right? Is there a way to pass my file directly to the man command ...
18
votes
4answers
31k views

How to install man pages on centos?

Note: This applies to Centos 7. If you are looking for a Debian answer, see this question. Those answers will not be duplicated here. After an install of centos 7, I can't access man pages : # man ...
18
votes
2answers
2k views

Dynamically reformatting man pages on terminal dimension changes

One common workflow of mine is to open a manual page in a terminal, then another terminal in which to test things. The man page is formatted to the initial dimensions of the first terminal. When I now ...
17
votes
5answers
4k views

Where is the Programmer's manpage for the open C Function?

I am using debian8 (jessie) and I went to find read the manpage for open. instead I got a warning: $ man 3 open No manual entry for open in section 3 See 'man 7 undocumented' for help when manual ...
17
votes
7answers
4k views

How do I check man pages for what single parameter of the command does?

Example: I am using tar -zxvf command but I don't know what 'x' stands for. How can I check this single parameter without having to scroll all the way through man tar?
17
votes
4answers
13k views

Can I disable all man pages?

Specifically on a raspberry pi (running Raspbian Wheezy), but also in general, can I disable all man pages? This would mean no stored man pages, no "processing triggers for man-db", and so on and so ...
17
votes
1answer
4k views

What does the “3am” section means in manpages?

I found this accidentally. I just typed man fork, and instead of showing the system call documentation, it showed to me an awk extension, however, the section page number was 3am, instead of just 3. ...
17
votes
1answer
3k views

Is there a standard for writing a command synopsis?

It appears to me that everyone has their own idea on how to write a synopsis describing command usage for the end user. For example, this is the format from man grep: grep [OPTIONS] PATTERN [FILE...]...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

What does C@t{++} mean in the gdb man page?

I was reading the manpage for gdb and I came across the line: You can use GDB to debug programs written in C, C@t{++}, Fortran and Modula-2. The C@t{++} looks like a regex but I can't seem to decode ...
16
votes
3answers
8k views

Where should I install manual pages in user directory?

I'm trying to create a Makefile for a small Perl utility I wrote, And I'm struggling to find out a way to find where to install my man page when make is run as a non-root user. I'm currently parsing ...
16
votes
6answers
37k views

How to copy multi-page text from the terminal into the clipboard?

I was viewing a man page for a software on my machine and I needed to copy-paste some of that text but the text was much more than one page. I'm aware I can direct the output to a file and use UI ...

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