The UX for Linux can cause fits of laughter for all of the wrong reasons. Even the tools that are offered to help users can be frustrating to use and understand. We will go over Tab Autocomplete, whatis, man pages and the help command.
- Type the beginning of a command and then hit the tab key (possibly twice) and a list of commands that start with your input will be shown.
- Type whatis and then a command name and a short explanation of the command will be displayed.
- Man pages are manual pages that are built into the Linux operating system and were copied from Unix.
- Type Man and then the command and the Man Page will be displayed.
- Typing –help after a command will display the info page for the command.
- Info Pages are supposed to be an updated version of Man Pages.
- Commands will have both Man Pages and Info Pages so users can choose which format they prefer.
- Use –help|less to give yourself ability to scroll through the info page. Use q to exit.
Info pages have hyperlinks, man pages not.
Usually those got translated both to HTML, so they are retrievable
by Google. 🙂
May I add ‘apropos ‘ to this list of help commands?
The reason why shortcuts are so different is that the programs
underneath have been written over a period of 40 years and the user
land is not a coordinated effort on Linux –
almost every tool exists in three versions with a different user
experience (Linux tools, System V tools, BSD tools).
For instance ‘man’ comes from the Unix PDP-11 age from the
Bell labs.. 🙂