In Unix, what is the man command, and how do I use it to read manual pages?
In Unix, most programs, and many protocols, functions, and
file formats, have accompanying manuals. With the
command, you can retrieve the information in the manual and display it
as text output on your screen. To use the
man command, at
the Unix prompt, enter:
topic with the name of the manual item about
which you want more information. For example, to find out more about
the FTP command, at the Unix prompt, enter:
If you are unsure which manual item you want to read, you can do a keyword search. At the Unix prompt, enter:man -k keyword | more
On some systems, you need to replace
man -k with
apropos . For example, at the Unix prompt, enter:
In both of the examples above, replace
keyword with a
specific topic (e.g.,
For more information about the
man command, at the Unix
At Indiana University, for personal or departmental Linux or Unix systems support, see At IU, how do I get support for Linux or Unix?
Last modified on May 13, 2009.