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How to search through man pages

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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. 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. Another useful operation is Union , as in color colour , which finds every occurrence of either color or colour this is sometimes called boolean OR. If you are searching for strings containing some of these "reserved" characters like?

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Linux Man Pages Tips and Tricks

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Generate Random Manpages To Learn Linux

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

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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. The output could be viewed with a program such as xdvi or further processed into PostScript using a program such as dvips.

Print out any matches. Equivalent to apropos printf. Equivalent to whatis smail. Changes can be made to the search path, section order, output processor, and other behaviours and operations detailed below. If set, various environment variables are interrogated to determine the operation of man. Those options requiring an argument will be overridden by the same options found on the command line.

The manual pager utilities packaged as man-db make extensive use of index database caches. These caches contain information such as where each manual page can be found on the filesystem and what its whatis short one line description of the man page contains, and allow man to run faster than if it had to search the filesystem each time to find the appropriate manual page.

If requested using the -u option, man will ensure that the caches remain consistent, which can obviate the need to manually run software to update traditional whatis text databases. If man cannot find a mandb initiated index database for a particular manual page hierarchy, it will still search for the requested manual pages, although file globbing will be necessary to search within that hierarchy.

If whatis or apropos fails to find an index it will try to extract information from a traditional whatis database instead. These utilities support compressed source nroff files having, by default, the extensions of. It is possible to deal with any compression extension, but this information must be known at compile time. Also, by default, any cat pages produced are compressed using gzip. Traditionally the cat pages are stored under the same hierarchy as the man pages, but for reasons such as those specified in the File Hierarchy Standard FHS , it may be better to store them elsewhere.

For details on how to do this, please read manpath 5. For details on why to do this, read the standard. International support is available with this package. Native language manual pages are accessible if available on your system via use of locale functions. Support for international message catalogues is also featured in this package and can be activated in the same way, again if available. If you find that the manual pages and message catalogues supplied with this package are not available in your native language and you would like to supply them, please contact the maintainer who will be coordinating such activity.

For information regarding other features and extensions available with this manual pager, please read the documents supplied with the package. If the -u option is given, a cache consistency check is performed to ensure the databases accurately reflect the filesystem. If this option is always given, it is not generally necessary to run mandb after the caches are initially created, unless a cache becomes corrupt.

However, the cache consistency check can be slow on systems with many manual pages installed, so it is not performed by default, and system administrators may wish to run mandb every week or so to keep the database caches fresh. To forestall problems caused by outdated caches, man will fall back to file globbing if a cache lookup fails, just as it would if no cache was present. If it does and is, this preformatted file is usually decompressed and then displayed, via use of a pager.

The pager can be specified in a number of ways, or else will fall back to a default is used see option -P for details. If no cat is found or is older than the nroff file, the nroff is filtered through various programs and is shown immediately.

If a cat file can be produced a relative cat directory exists and has appropriate permissions , man will compress and store the cat file in the background. The filters are deciphered by a number of means. If -p was not used and the environment variable was not set, the initial line of the nroff file is parsed for a preprocessor string.

If none of the above methods provide any filter information, a default set is used. A formatting pipeline is formed from the filters and the primary formatter nroff or [ tg ] roff with -t and executed. It gets passed the manual source file, the preprocessor string, and optionally the device specified with -T or -E as arguments.

For options that require an argument, each duplication will override the previous argument value. Any options that follow -D will have their usual effect. This may be used to perform sanity checks on the source text of manual pages. Main modes of operation -f , --whatis Equivalent to whatis.

Display a short description from the manual page, if available. See whatis 1 for details. Search the short manual page descriptions for keywords and display any matches. See apropos 1 for details. This is a brute-force search, and is likely to take some time; if you can, you should specify a section to reduce the number of pages that need to be searched.

Search terms may be simple strings the default , or regular expressions if the --regex option is used. Note that this searches the sources of the manual pages, not the rendered text, and so may include false positives due to things like comments in source files. Searching the rendered text would be much slower. Format and display local manual files instead of searching through the system's manual collection.

Each manual page argument will be interpreted as an nroff source file in the correct format. No cat file is produced. If '-' is listed as one of the arguments, input will be taken from stdin. When this option is not used, and man fails to find the page required, before displaying the error message, it attempts to act as if this option was supplied, using the name as a filename and looking for an exact match.

If -w and -W are both specified, print both separated by a space. If you already know the encoding of the source file, you can also use manconv 1 directly. However, this option allows you to convert several manual pages to a single encoding without having to explicitly state the encoding of each, provided that they were already installed in a structure similar to a manual page hierarchy. To temporarily override the determined value, use this option to supply a locale string directly to man.

Note that it will not take effect until the search for pages actually begins. Output such as the help message will always be displayed in the initially determined locale.

The system specified can be a combination of comma delimited operating system names. To include a search of the native operating system's manual pages, include the system name man in the argument string. By default, man uses manpath derived code to determine the path to search.

A path specified as a manpath must be the root of a manual page hierarchy structured into sections as described in the man-db manual under "The manual page system". To view manual pages outside such hierarchies, see the -l option. The -s spelling is for compatibility with System V. To get around the problem of having two manual pages with the same name such as exit 3 , the Tcl pages were usually all assigned to section l.

Under normal operation, man will display exit 3 in preference to exit 3tcl. To negotiate this situation and to avoid having to know which section the page you require resides in, it is now possible to give man a sub-extension string indicating which package the page must belong to. This is the default. Since there is usually no reasonable way to pick a "best" page when searching for a regular expression, this option implies -a.

The page argument must match the entire name or description, or match on word boundaries in the description. Since there is usually no reasonable way to pick a "best" page when searching for a wildcard, this option implies -a. Otherwise, no effect. Using this option forces man to display all the manual pages with names that match the search criteria. It will only have a useful effect if man is installed with the setuid bit set.

This supports the common pattern of programs that implement a number of subcommands, allowing them to provide manual pages for each that can be accessed using similar syntax as would be used to invoke the subcommands themselves.

By default, man uses pager , falling back to cat if pager is not found or is not executable. It is not used in conjunction with -f or -k. The value may be a simple command name or a command with arguments, and may use shell quoting backslashes, single quotes, or double quotes. It may not use pipes to connect multiple commands; if you need that, use a wrapper script, which may take the file to display either as an argument or on standard input.

The default prompt looks like Manual page name sec line x where name denotes the manual page name, sec denotes the section it was found under and x the current line number.

Supplying -r with a string will override this default. For its meaning see the less 1 manual page. The prompt string is first evaluated by the shell.

All double quotes, back-quotes and backslashes in the prompt must be escaped by a preceding backslash. By default man sets the -ix8 options. This option allows pure ascii manual pages to be displayed in ascii with the latin1 device. It will not translate any latin1 text. The following table shows the translations performed: some parts of it may only be displayed properly when using GNU nroff 's latin1 7 device.

find(1) - Linux man page

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. However, the documentation is quite lengthy and I have to scroll down for quite a long time to get to this option.

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.

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.

How to Search Man Pages at the Command Line

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. Enjoy this tip? Subscribe to the OSXDaily newsletter to get more of our great Apple tips, tricks, and important news delivered to your inbox! Enter your email address below:. But ManOpen handles almost everything else beautifully. But yes I agree, the black title bar looks great.

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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.

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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.

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.

Linux man Command Tutorial for Beginners (8 Examples)

By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy , Privacy Policy , and our Terms of Service. It only takes a minute to sign up. 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 has a short description available within it.

If man cannot find a mandb initiated index database for a particular manual page hierarchy, it will still search for the requested manual pages, although file.

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Comments: 1
  1. Yogami

    Well, well, it is not necessary so to speak.

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