man pages are the online MANual PAGES that come installed
with every Unix system.
While the manual pages are not the most user friendly, they do contain
a wealth of information.
They are especially valuable in explaining the particular details of
the local OS (operating system), and its effects on a command.
To see a
man page for a particular command simply type
man followed by the command to be examined, for example:
% man grep
man page for the grep command will then be displayed one
page at a time.
To see the next line, press the
enter-key, to see the next
page, press the
space-bar, and to quit, press
Keywords can also be used to search the
keyword will display any entries that contain the keyword.
The basic output format for a
man page is as follows:
name: Command name and brief decsription SYNOPSIS: Syntax including any flags the command takes DESCRIPTION: In depth examination of the command FILES: files related to the command SEE ALSO: related commands
This is just a basic form and it may vary from system to system, for
example, there might be additional sections for BUGS, and the AUTHOR.
To check his current
man command on his system, a user could
man pages themselves -
Throughout the course of this book there may be commands that readers
haven't come across, or at least haven't used much.
If this is the case, use the
The same goes for errors received when using examples in the book.
It is very difficult (if not impossible) to use Unix commands that
will be accepted as-is by any flavor of Unix.
In most cases where an error occurs, an examination of the
pages will quickly clarify any problems.