Find man pages
How to Search Man Pages at the Command Line
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.
If you've never read one before, the best way to start is by typing 'man man ' at the command line. Of course, while man pages are a vast improvement over the online documentation of most other OSes, they suffer from many failings: some people don't like to read text on the screen not very helpful unless you already know what to look for not always accessible even when present not always present, especially under Linux frequently hard to read, as they try to be authoritative and are therefore often too technical for new users frequently out of date That said, they're still better and more comprehensive than the alternatives.
We'll try to address the first three failings in this document. Man pages are the standard documentation for every Unix; you're sure to come across a reference before too long of the form:. Where N is a number from , possibly followed by a letter. Here's an example we'll pick apart note: this example does not apply to all UNIX's but should be taken as general form. This means that the MKDIR command is documented under that name, in section 1 given within parentheses.
The section may be necessary in case there are multiple man pages for the same name. In the example above there are man pages called 'mkdir' in both sections 1 and 2v. If unspecified, man will give you the first manpage it finds.
The -f option will show you all the available man pages for a given name. You should be able to get a description of each section they vary from Unix to Unix by doing. This discribes the various flags and the proper format the command requires. The flag in this instance is -p and the syntax requires a directory name to follow.
This function is also available by running apropos 1 , i. It lets you search the database of man page summaries to look for a keyword that might be mentionned in them. Suppose we were looking for utilities to manipulate postscript documents. This produces a list, with summaries, of man pages which are likely to be related to your topic. Note, these commands search the database which in most cases must be built by the system administrators, a task which is sometimes forgotten.
If you can't find what you are looking for and you believe it's there, try doing. SunOS has no such option. There can be several hierarchies of man pages, depending on the system. The command whereis may be able to help here. For example: note: this specific example should not be taken as generic under Unix but only as a illustration of possible results.
Alternatively, you can just try the quick-and-dirty method of running grep 1 in the man directories you think might contain the command you are looking for; note that man pages are not stored in plain text format so the output may not be always readable. Ok, you have tried the suggestions given above to locate man pages, and still have not had any luck.
It's quite possible there is no man page corresponding to what you're looking for - either because the tool or functionality you're searching for isn't installed on the system or because it has no man page installed the latter is far more common under Linux than elsewhere.
Let's suppose that you're especially determined because you "know" that the command exists - it does something, just not quite what you want. Rather than get irate at the undocumented command, first make sure that it is actually a program that deserves a man page; here's an algorithmic approach to looking for a command's help file.
If you are given a path, then you may be justified in being irate. Or maybe the documentation is in another format; keep reading. You have a couple of options here, depending on whether you mind wasting a full page of paper for each page of text. We recommend printing man pages at least half-size, as you're unlikely to return to them a month later. This will produce a file called Manpage.
Unfortunately, while the -t parameter is itself portable to virtually all man implementations, the output is not. Under Linux, the above works fine. If you have trouble getting psnup to work or don't feel like fooling around with it, you can always work with text instead. Personally, I recommend previewing the output with ghostview 1 beforehand.
Not all documentation is located in the manpages. The shells sometimes have online help, as do various other programs, especially graphical ones. Info isn't really complex enough to deserve describing in detail.
In brief, you can read info pages within emacs using 'C-h i' 'info' or from the command line using the command. Online help and a tutorial on the info system are available from within both interfaces.
Don't discount info pages; although they are used mainly by GNU software, this includes such hugely useful info pages as gdb , gcc , emacs , gawk , and make. Perl and bash also have info pages, though the information is available by other means as well in their cases. Only available under Linux, and often not terribly interesting, as a well-behaved package will provide documentation that can be integrated with the major help systems.
Still, there is a lot there, and should definitely be considered if you cannot find what you are looking for elsewhere. We will make the assumption that you know how to deal with these formats. Use the information in this document to find help and read up on lynx 1 , ghostview 1 , and less 1.
These are more common to the servers, though they may exist on Linux machines as well. Software packages are commonly installed into. Sometimes there is documentation to be found there. Much Perl documentation is embedded with the source modules themselves. To access it, you can usually do. While it should probably be a last resort, the source IS always the most current and sometimes the only documentation available for a particular package. Whether or not the program you are trying to learn more about is written in a compiled or interpreted language.
find(1) - Linux man page
The find utility recursively descends the directory hierarchy for each path seeking files that match a Boolean expression written in the primaries specified below. Causes the file information and file type evaluated for each symbolic link encountered on the command line to be those of the file referenced by the link, and not the link itself. If the referenced file does not exist, the file information and type is for the link itself. File information for all symbolic links not on the command line is that of the link itself.
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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!
find(1) [v7 man page]
Search a folder hierarchy for filename s that meet a desired criteria: Name, Size, File Type - see examples. GNU find searches the directory tree rooted at each given file name by evaluating the given expression from left to right, according to the rules of precedence see Operators , until the outcome is known the left hand side is false for AND operations, true for OR , at which point find moves on to the next file name. The -H, -L and -P options control the treatment of symbolic links. That argument and any following arguments are taken to be the expression describing what is to be searched for. If no paths are given, the current directory is used.
In the absence of an expression, -print is assumed. If an expression is given, but none of the primaries -delete , -exec , -execdir , -ls , -ok , -print , or -print0 are specified, the given expression is effectively replaced by given expression -print. It is not an error to specify more than one of the mutually exclusive options -H and -L.
Master the command line: How to use man pages