August 20, 2017

Getting Access to Documentation Under Linux - page 3


  • May 29, 1999
  • By James Andrews
The man page system is very comprehensive, but often it's not enough. Here are some other sources you can tap on your Linux system and on the Net.
emacs Info Files
If you have the bulky and complex emacs system installed, run emacs and press the key sequence ctrl-H I and it should drop you into the emacs info browser. Some documentation contained in there is very good--for instance, on the make command.
/usr/doc Files
On all Linux distributions, there is a tremendous amount of miscellaneous documentation dumped into the /usr/doc/ directory. Each package makes its own directories under /usr/doc and puts things like FAQs and installation notes in there.
HOWTOs, FAQs and other text based files compress down well with the GNU gzip tool. To search through them without needing to uncompress first use zmore to view and zgrep to search. A handy invocation is:

zgrep -il router *

Which lists all filenames of files containing the string 'router', ignoring case.

On the Internet there are lots of sources of information. One central semi-official clearing house is the 'Linux documentation project'.

At (or an Internet mirror perhaps a little closer to you), the HOWTO files are held. There are 'HOWTO's detailing how to set up various aspects of your Linux system. Some are good, some are old and outdated, but they are worth a look because of their simple, recipe-based approach.
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