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Linux Command Line For Beginners: Finding Help Documents - page 3

Helping Yourself to Help

  • January 5, 2009
  • By Juliet Kemp

An alternative to man pages is the info command. Indeed, for some commands, the man page is pretty much only a redirection to the more comprehensive info page. However, info pages can be a little confusing to navigate.

Try typing info find. Your first screen should look a bit like figure 3.

To get a list of navigation commands, hit ? (to quit this help page, hit l). n moves to the next node (so just hitting n repeatedly will take you straight through an info document), and p to the previous node; u goes up one menu level. If you use the arrow keys to move to a hyperlink (marked with *asterisks*), and hit return, you'll be taken to that menu item. l will take you back one level (to the point where you hit return).

In some cases, the info command will just take you to the man page for a command.

HTML Documentation

Many more complicated Linux programs have documentation available in /usr/share/doc/. Sometimes this will consist only of the changelog for your distribution, but sometimes there may be example files, or more extensive documentation or handbooks. It's certainly worth checking out if you're at a loss. This directory is more likely to be helpful for programs rather than commands.

So, there's plenty of Linux help available at your fingertips and no excuse for not getting stuck in with the command line!


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