Popular Linux Help Commands

By: Clyde Boom

Learning how to use Linux commands is key to understanding how to administer a Linux system. When you are new to the Linux OS (operating system) and need help with your Linux training, you can use these Linux commands to get help with using Linux (in general) and also get help on how to use a Linux command.

3 Popular Linux Commands You Can Use to Get Help with Using Linux

1. The Linux Help Command

There are Linux commands that are called builtin (one word) commands, such as the cd (change directory) and echo commands. The help command is used to get help on builtin commands.

Linux Help Command Example

]# help cd

The output of the above command shows help on running the Linux cd command.

Linux Tips: The ]# in the above example is the Linux command line prompt, that appears when you are at a Linux console (also called a Linux terminal). You don't need to type in the ]# characters, just type in the command at the right!

2.

The Linux Info Command

The Linux info command is used to display help "info pages" on a Linux command or on a Linux concept.

Linux Info Command Example

]# info grep

The Linux command above shows info (help) on running the Linux grep command.

One of the best parts of using the info command is that some of the info pages show examples of using a Linux command.

Linux Tips: Examples of Linux commands provide an excellent way to learn a command. The Linux man pages (describe below) and lots of other free Linux documentation rarely shows a Linux command example.

3. The Linux Man Command

The Linux man command is used to display Linux man pages. These "pages" provide help on a Linux concept, such as booting a Linux system, or on a Linux command, such as the find command.

Linux Man Command Example

]# man find

This command shows the man page(s) for the Linux find command.

Linux Tips: The Linux man pages are quite cryptic and difficult to understand for someone new to Linux. Try using the Linux info command first and also look to see if you can find an example of how to use the Linux command.

Using the --help Option of a Linux Command to Get Help with Using Linux

Several Linux commands have a --help option that shows a description of the command and its options. To use the --help option, just type in the name of the command followed by --helpArticle Submission, as shown below.

Linux --help Option Example

]# mkdir --help

The --help option is used to show help on the Linux mkdir command.

All of the above Linux commands and options can be difficult to understand for someone new to Linux. One way to get easy Linux training is to get a popular Linux book (or Linux ebook) or to watch Linux video tutorials.

A Linux video tutorial can really help you with Linux training by hearing and watching a Linux concept being described or seeing how a Linux command is run in a step-by-step manner.

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