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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 man 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:

man topic

Replace 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:

man ftp

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:

apropos keyword | more

In both of the examples above, replace keyword with a specific topic (e.g., ftp , mail ).

For more information about the man command, at the Unix prompt, enter:

man man

At Indiana University, for personal or departmental Linux or Unix systems support, see At IU, how do I get support for Linux or Unix?

This is document afjm in domain all.
Last modified on May 13, 2009.

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