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This article is part of the Tips & Tricks series.
Terminals / Shells Network X Window System Portage System Filesystems Kernel Other

The first command all newbies (people new to said item) should become familiar with is man: man program Where program is name of an installed application/package/command! Such as:

 man x
 man samba

This also works sometimes with config names like:

 man make.conf
 man smb.conf

And if you are not sure exactly what you are looking for, apropos gets you a list of places where something is mentioned: apropos something Also typing the command followed by --help (or sometimes only -h or -?) can sometimes be of assistance if you do not know what option you are looking for. Such as:

 emerge --help
 install --help

Please always read what is on your screen. Many times newbies miss messages the system gives them.

Another good source of information are Info format manuals. You can read them using an Info reader, as in:

 info nano
 info info

The latter will open an Info page about the Info reader itself - make sure you read it if you're new to Info, as navigating through the Info pages isn't obvious at the beginning.

Many programs come with manuals in Info formats, while their man pages contain only basic information, or even just a note pointing you to an appropriate Info page.

Another useful thing to know is that pressing Shift+PageUp will give you the previous screen of text in the console (for those times when some command spews out reams and reams of text at you).

Remember, Google is your friend.

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Last modified: Fri, 05 Sep 2008 23:14:00 +0000 Hits: 14,375