Oftentimes on the command line, you'll need some help with a command.
We can try Googling our answers, but a lot of what we're looking for is right in the command line!
To see where an executable resides in the file system, we use the
which command. This displays the path of the executable that will be executed.
So for example, if you have git installed, try:
$ which git /usr/local/git/bin/git
If you need help understanding a command's function, we can use the
man command, which displays a command's manual page. This is especially useful when we want to apply an option.
$ man ls
To move up/down, use
j/k for line by line, or
^d/^u for pages at a time.
To quit the man page, press
Each manual page is divied up into sections. To jump to a particular section on a manual page, specify the number before the manual name.
$ man 3 ls
If you want to search for a manual page you may do so with the
$ man -k search
... apropos(1) - search the whatis database for strings lfind(3), lsearch(3) - linear search and append lkbib(1) - search bibliographic databases ...
If you're looking for a command, but not sure where to start looking, we can use
apropos, which displays the appropriate commands.
This searches all executables for your key term.
Let's say I want to move my directory, but I either forgot or don't know which command to use. I can try typing:
$ apropos move
... mv(1) - move files rm(1), unlink(1) - remove directory entries rmdir(1) - remove directories
Very conveniently, I'm presented with a variety of commands that have "move" in its title or description.
Lastly, if we have no idea what a command is, use:
whatis, which displays a brief description of a command.
$ whatis ipconfig
ipconfig(8) - view and control IP configuration state
This will give you a brief description of the ls command.
A similar command to
info, which uses hypertext formatting instead that allows you to traverse from section to section. To see a list of navigation keys, type the 'h' key after opening up an
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