Beginners – How to get Help

Valic —  December 5, 2012 — Leave a comment

When you are stuck and need  help with a UNIX command the help is sometimes a few  keystrokes away! Help is typically built  into the commands themselves, available through online facilitate programs like man pages and info pages.

 1. Using the Help biult-in command:

Many commands and applications have simple help screens that can be displayed with special command flags. This flag usually is “-h” or “–help“.


cat –help

2. Using Man Pages

The best source of data for most commands is found within the manual pages. Theese are known asa man pages. To display a command’s man page  you need to type man command

Example: If you want to get help with the grep command just type man grep and the man page for the grep command will be displayed.

Now if you want to search for a word within the man page type “/word_to_search” and if you want to exit from the man page just press the “Q” key.

3. Info Pages

Some programs in special  those discharged by the Free code Foundation, use data pages as their main supply of on-line documentation. data pages ar almost like man page, however rather than being displayed on one long scrolling screen, they’re bestowed in shorter segments with links to alternative items of data. data pages ar accessed with the “info” command, or on some Linux distributions, “pinfo” (a nicer data browser).

Some programs, in special those released by the Free Software Foundation are using info pages as main source of documentation. Info pages are almost like man pages but instead of being displayed on one long scrolling screen they are showed in short segments with links to other pieces of information. Info pages can be accessed with the “info” command

Example: To display info for df command you need to type info df


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Editor in Chief at Debian-Tutorials, Linux enthusiast.

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