Man pages

Les Mikesell lesmikesell at
Fri Dec 30 16:04:48 UTC 2005

On Fri, 2005-12-30 at 08:53, Joao Paulo Pires wrote:
> Man pages - Each time I try get some help from man pages I get
> disappointed.

Can you be more specific about what you are trying to find
there?  If you are looking for details about how to use
that program's options, you normally should find it. If
you are looking for how it relates to any other tool you
probably won't find it there.

>  Wich is the proper way to learn some more from console? If I call
> --help I just get confused. Am I dummy? I think the first way to learn
> should be the man pages. I can imagine this is a basic need for a
> newbie. TIA, Joao. 

The man pages are a reference - think of them like you might
use a dictionary.  You already have to know which program
you want to use for which purpose.  I'm not sure how you
do that now.  In the old days of unix and the 'one tool does
one job' philosophy the entire manual set fit in 3 smallish
books (before X was included...) and you could easily flip
through and get an idea of when and why you would want to
use each program, and then you'd refer back to the man page
for specific options.  If you are doing shell programming
you should think of the programs as statements that do
a certain operation and the shell just as the glue to
hold them together.

  Les Mikesell
    lesmikesell at

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