Getting Help for Linux Commands

The man and info commands offer basic ways to view program documentation on Linux. To view the man or info help for a specific command, you use the man or info command followed by the name of the command that you want help on.

The man command provides access to the traditional Unix and Linux online manual, displaying formatted help that you can page through. The info command is a newer online help mechanism that displays text help for commands inside a customized version of emacs with hypertext capabilities that enable you to jump from one topic to another. Many commands now maintain their online help only in info format rather than supporting both. In general, info help for a command is always at least as up-to-date and complete as the equivalent man help for that same command.

The info interface is a little confusing for beginners; it is actually a form of hypertext. SUSE also offers the ability to view man and info pages graphically using the Konqueror browser. See Chapter 5, "Documentation," for more details.

■ man Is : Views the man page for the Is command

■ man-kdisk: Looks for man pages referring to the word "disk"

■ info coreutils: Looks at the info page for the coreutils package p : I j A number of excellent books and online references are available that provide detailed information about standard Linux commands, Linux shells, and so on. One of the best sources of online information about Linux is the Linux Documentation Project, available at www.tldp.org. In the true spirit of Linux, the Linux Documentation Project provides hundreds of free documents, HOWTO files, and compilations of frequently asked questions (FAQs) documents that explain different aspects of using standard Linux systems.

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