Man page

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Man pages, or manual pages, are manuals for various commands accessed by using the man command.

Man pages contain information about proper syntax and options, and are the Unix equivalent of help files. They are included on almost all Unix systems. There is a page for almost every command, and for a number of configuration files as well.

To browse a hierarchical listing of man pages using a GUI, try the xman command.

Content and quality vary between applications, but typically tend towards:

  • being very thorough
  • being succinct
  • being more a reference rather than a tutorial

This means that you will frequently come across information in man pages that you do not yet understand. Don't worry about it; becoming a Linux guru is a gradual process. If you don't need the excess information right now, ignore it. Otherwise read it again, slowly. If it still makes no sense, look here in the wiki for an explanation. If it still makes no sense, go to an IRC chat or a web forum and explain you're having trouble understanding the man page. You will be treated more sympathetically if you've tried to read.


See also

External Links