Use a Linux Man Page for Help

by : Clyde Boom

When you are a new Linux user and trying to get Linux training, you need to learn how to use Linux commands. What you most often need is a Linux example showing you how to use a Linux command.

And you will often hear seasoned Linux users say (over and over again) "just see the Linux man page" for a Linux command. This has become a quick and easy way out - of really trying to explain how to use Linux.

Linux man pages are useful if you already know Linux, but extremely frustrating if you are new to the Linux OS (operating system).

Linux Tips: Linux man pages are practically useless for someone new to Linux. In fact, they're almost as easy as trying to read hieroglyphics. Great for the ancient Egyptians - lots of nice pictures, but really hard to read.

Here's Why Man Pages Don't Work for Someone New to Linux - And What You Can Do About It

"Man" stands for "manual", as in "Linux manual" or "Linux software manual". You run the Linux man command to display the contents of a man page (file).

So, if you need help on a Linux command (or Linux software programs), you just run the man command and get help on the command. This gives you instant Linux online help. Sounds great - but it's not great for a new Linux user.

And it would be great if the people that knew how to use Linux, didn't expect the people that are new to Linux to understand man pages!

Here's how to run the Linux man command and get help on the grep command:

]$ man grep

This displays the contents of the Linux man page (file) for the grep command.

Linux Tips: There are several options of the man command that can be used to display information on multiple man pages. But hey, man - how do I get help on the man command? You guessed it - just run: man man

Now, the grep command is pretty amazing in what it can do. It has lots of options and different ways of getting tons of useful information from a Linux system - but you'd never know it from looking at the man page.

The man page for any Linux command just shows you: a vague description of the command, a cryptic statement showing how to run the command, and a long alphabetic listing of the options for the command. There's no way of knowing which options are the most useful and most commonly used.

And the worst part is that it's almost impossible to find a Linux example of a command. In the thousands of man pages, there are almost never any examples of how to use a Linux command. And seeing examples of a Linux command (and then running the command) - is the best way to learn how to use Linux.

Instead of trying to decipher a cryptic man page, imagine watching a clearly narrated Linux video tutorial. Easy Linux training at it's best!

With this Linux training method you get to see and hear how to use a Linux command - or learn a new Linux concept.

You see every step in the process - and whenever you need to think about something, or want to try a command you've just seenArticle Search, you just click pause and try it yourself!