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kb:linux:documentation [2016/01/14 01:35] (current)
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 +====== Linux Documentation Sources ======
 +{{INLINETOC}}
 +
 +===== Manual Pages (man pages)=====
 +  * man pages are **authoritative** text based documents for Command Line commands & programs.
 +  * These get converted to many different formats:
 +    * Webpage based
 +    * PDF documents
 +    * Graphical Help based systems
 +    * etc..
 +
 +==== Manual Search Parameters ====
 +<​note>​**Note:​** In the below, replace ''<​keyword>''​ with the keyword or expression to search for.</​note>​
 +  * ''​man -f <​keyward>''​ is the same as using the ''​whatis''​ command
 +    * Lookup ​ the  manual ​ pages referenced by ''<​keyword>''​ and print out the short descriptions of any found.
 +  * ''​man -k <​keyword>''​ is the same as using the ''​apropos''​ command
 +    * Search the man page **short descriptions** and the man **page names** for the given ''<​keyword>''​ (as a regular expression).
 +
 +==== Manual Chapters & Parameters ====
 +  * the **chapter number** as a parameter will force the man to return the command from a **specific manual chapter**
 +    * e.g. ''​$ man 3 printf''​
 +  * the **''​-a''​** parameter will display the given command from **all manual chapters**
 +    * e.g. ''​$ man -a printf''​
 +
 +The below list gives the chapter numbers of the different categories of man pages:
 +  -   ​Executable programs or shell commands
 +  -   ​System calls (functions provided by the kernel)
 +  -   ​Library calls (functions within program libraries)
 +  -   ​Special files (usually found in /dev)
 +  -   File formats and conventions eg /etc/passwd
 +  -   Games
 +  -   ​Miscellaneous (including macro packages and conventions),​ e.g. man(7), groff(7)
 +  -   ​System administration commands (usually only for root)
 +  -   ​Kernel routines [Non standard]
 +
 +A man page consists of several sections. Conventional section names include:
 +
 +NAME, SYNOPSIS, CONFIGURATION,​ DESCRIPTION,​ OPTIONS, ​ EXIT STATUS, RETURN VALUE, ERRORS, ENVIRONMENT,​ FILES, VERSIONS, CONFORMING TO, NOTES, BUGS, EXAMPLE, AUTHORS, and SEE ALSO.
 +
 +===== GNU Info System =====
 +  * Information can be viewed through
 +    * The Command Line Interface
 +    * A Graphical Interface
 +    * Online (Web) Pages
 +    * Printed documentation
 +    * etc..
 +
 +  * **''​info''​** is the documentation format that the GNU Project prefers over **''​man''​**
 +    * It is a "​gopher like" system of linked text documents that pre-dates the World Wide Web.
 +    * In a Terminal, typing **''​info''​** with no arguments displays an index of available topics.
 +      * those pages can be navigated & viewd using the movement keys (← ↑ → ↓, page up, page down, ...)
 +      * also use the **q** key to **quit**, the **h** key for **help**, and the **enter** key to **select** an item.
 +    * **''​info <​keyword>''​** will search all **info** files for the Topic given by ''<​keyword>''​
 +
 +  * A **Topic** in an **''​info''​** page is called a **node**
 +    * use the **n** key to go to the **next** node
 +    * use the **p** key to go to the **previous** node
 +    * use the **u** key to move **up** one level in the ''​info''​ index.
 +  * each **node** may contain menus and linked subtopics, or items
 +    * an **item** is a hyperlink, that starts with an asterisk (**''​*''​**) and ends with double-colons (**''::''​**)
 +
 +
 +===== Terminal Command -h or --help =====
 +  * Most commands have an available short description which can be viewed using the **''​--help''​** or the **''​-h''​** parameter
 +    * e.g. ''​man --help''​
 +    * This provides a summary that is quicker but less extensive than the man pages
 +    * some commands only use ''​-h'',​ some commands only use ''​--help'',​ and many commands use both
 +
 +  * The BASH terminal has its own build-in commands
 +    * to view a summary of these built-in commands, simply type in the **''​help''​** command
 +
 + 
 +===== Other Sources =====
 +
 +==== Desktop Help ====
 +  * All Linux desktop systems have a graphical help application.
 +    * for Gnome → **''​gnome-help''​**
 +    * for KDE → **''​khelpcenter''​**
 +
 +==== Package Documentation ====
 +  * Linux documentation is also available as part of the package management system.
 +    * This documentation is found in the **''/​usr/​share/​doc''​** directory
 +
 +==== Online Resources ====
 +  * there are many online forums, wikis and e-books to provide additional help documentation.