Man

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man is a command to access the man page for a given command, function, or file.

Example:

$ man locate

Provided your man pages are working correctly, this will bring up detailed information about the locate program. Read man updatedb while you're about it.

Man pages are sometimes split into sections. On most systems the sections are numbered 1 to 8, representing these categories:

  1. General commands
  2. Low-level system calls
  3. C library functions
  4. Special files (usually devices, those found in /dev)
  5. File formats and conventions
  6. Games
  7. Miscellanea
  8. System administration and associated commands

To view a specific section, you type the appropriate number before the name of the page you wish to view. For example, section 1 (general commands) of the command ls would be referred to as:

$ man 1 ls

See also