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How to search through man pages

While they're not all well-advertised, there are actually a variety of means of getting help under Unix. Man pages correspond to online manuals for programs, file formats, functions, system calls, and so forth. If you've never read one before, the best way to start is by typing 'man man ' at the command line. Of course, while man pages are a vast improvement over the online documentation of most other OSes, they suffer from many failings: some people don't like to read text on the screen not very helpful unless you already know what to look for not always accessible even when present not always present, especially under Linux frequently hard to read, as they try to be authoritative and are therefore often too technical for new users frequently out of date That said, they're still better and more comprehensive than the alternatives. We'll try to address the first three failings in this document. Man pages are the standard documentation for every Unix; you're sure to come across a reference before too long of the form:.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: How to use MAN pages and Info Pages in linux

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Mastering Linux Man Pages - A Definitive Guide

How to use a man page: Faster than a Google search

A very useful aspect of the Linux command line is that the documentation for almost all command line tools is easily accessible. These documents are known as man pages, and you can easily access them through the command line using the man command. In this tutorial, we will discuss the basics of man using some easy to understand examples.

But before we do that, it's worth mentioning that all examples in this article have been tested on Ubuntu The man command gives users access to manual pages for command line utilities and tools. Following is the syntax of this command:.

The basic usage of man is very simple - just run the command with the name of the tool whose reference manual you want to access. As already mentioned in the beginning, all available manual pages are segregated into sections, and there are sections that contain man page entries of same name.

Well, you don't have to do that as there exists a command line option 'f' that allows man to display all manual pages that match the name in the input. So you can see all entries with name 'printf' - along with section numbers - were displayed in the output.

Now, what if you want man to display one by one all manual pages corresponding to a given input? Well, that's possible, and you'll have to use the -a command line option for it. For example, if you want to serially view all man pages for 'printf', you can do that in the following way:. The above command will first open the printf man page from section 1, and when you quit it, the command will ask you if you want to view the next 'printf' man page.

In case you want the man command to search and list manual pages by considering input as a regular expression, you can do that using the -k command line option. In case the requirement is to only know the location of manual pages, you can force man to do this by using the -w command line option. By default, the man command ignores case while searching for manual pages.

However, if you want, you can enable case-sensitivity using the -I command line option. So you can see man is an extremely important command that users - both newbies and pros - should know how to use. We've just scratched the surface here, as the tool offers a lot of features. This feature is only available to subscribers. Get your subscription here. Log in or Sign up. Get Free Trial. On this page Linux man command Q1. How to use man command? How to make man display manual page from specific sections?

How to lookup for manual pages and print short descriptions as well? How to make man display all manual pages for a given input? How to make man search considering input as regular expression?

How to make man display location of manual pages? How to make man display manual pages in Web browser? How to make man command case sensitive? Suggested articles. Finally, a useful man page.

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Linux man Command Tutorial for Beginners (8 Examples)

A very useful aspect of the Linux command line is that the documentation for almost all command line tools is easily accessible. These documents are known as man pages, and you can easily access them through the command line using the man command. In this tutorial, we will discuss the basics of man using some easy to understand examples. But before we do that, it's worth mentioning that all examples in this article have been tested on Ubuntu The man command gives users access to manual pages for command line utilities and tools.

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By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy , Privacy Policy , and our Terms of Service. Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It only takes a minute to sign up. What I'd like to be able to do is to search for the next occurrence of the word or phrase without having to type it out again. The default pager used for manual pages is less , which has similar shortcuts to those in the vim text editor.

How to Search Man Pages at the Command Line

Each page argument given to man is normally the name of a program, utility or function. The manual page associated with each of these arguments is then found and displayed. A section , if provided, will direct man to look only in that section of the manual. The table below shows the section numbers of the manual followed by the types of pages they contain. Exact rendering may vary depending on the output device. For instance, man will usually not be able to render italics when running in a terminal, and will typically use underlined or coloured text instead. The command or function illustration is a pattern that should match all possible invocations. It is possible to quit between successive displays or skip any of them. The default output for groff is usually PostScript. The redirection is necessary as the -T flag causes output to be directed to stdout with no pager.

A Definitive Guide to Linux Man Pages

By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy , Privacy Policy , and our Terms of Service. Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It only takes a minute to sign up. Patterns can be regular expressions , for example, you could search for the word "option" by typing.

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By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy , Privacy Policy , and our Terms of Service. Stack Overflow for Teams is a private, secure spot for you and your coworkers to find and share information. I'm looking for information on the -X option of curl.

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Jump to navigation. It's easy to get into the habit of googling anything you want to know about a command or operation in Linux, but I'd argue there's something even better: a living and breathing, complete reference, the man pages , which is short for manual pages. The history of man pages predates Linux, all the way back to the early days of Unix.

Command line users are undoubtedly familiar with man pages, or manual pages, that contain details, help , and documentation to specified commands and functions. Referencing a man page can be essential when trying to learn proper syntax or how a command works, but with how large some manual pages are it can be a real drag to scroll through the entire man page to try and find a relevant portion. Note the flag is a capital -K, the string can be anything. Any matches to the syntax in the current man page will be highlighted. And for those who use Terminal app, remember you can also search and launch manual pages from the Terminal Help menu directly, which would then allow you to use the aforementioned string search to look within a help doc to get further details.

How to effectively use Man Pages under Linux

The online Reference Manual man pages provide detailed descriptions and usage of the commands. You can use the man command to display the man page entry that explains a given command. The syntax of the man command is as follows. The online man page entries are organized into sections based on the type or usage of the command or file. For example, Section 1 contains user commands, and Section 4 contains information about various file formats.

Use "Linux Man Pages Online" to search the Linux manual pages via the web. Search By Name. SEARCH STRING: All Sections, Section 1, Section 2, Section 3.

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