Linux documentation in the Terminal: man and info
man and info are the main programs to get information about Linux/UNIX software without leaving your Terminal. Learn how to use them.
The content of these programs depends on the documentation files you have on your device. These docs are usually installed with every package, but in some Linux systems (like Alpine) you may need to download them manually by searching for
<package name>-doc (e.g.:
If it’s not already installed, you can install
man-db package, which includes
man. You can search a manpage by typing this simple command:
# an example: man ls
A manpage may have several sections. These sections are referred with a number inside a parenthesis (like
crontab(5)). You can go to a section by adding section number before manpage title:
man <section> <page>
Inside a manpage, you can use arrow keys to scroll, and q to exit. Press h to get more info about available commands.
You can show all the man page at once by specifying
cat as the pager:
man -P cat <page>
info works like
man but it usually includes more information about each program. In Debian/Ubuntu you can install it by typing
apt install info. In other distros, may be included in
# an example: info ls
coreutilsis install, you can type
info coreutilsand it will show a great guide for coreutils commands.
- Inside an info page, you can use arrow keys to scroll, u to go up one level, q to exit. Press Shift + h to get more info about available commands.
In Debian/Ubuntu systems, you can use
dpkg-reconfigureto reconfigure an installed package using intuitive dialogs. I will show you how to use this command to change some system settings.
If you have a scanned PDF and you want to be able to search and copy text from it, in this tutorial I will show you how to do it.
If you want to do X11 forwarding from your container to your host, you can type these simple commands.
If you don’t have a Graphical User Interface (GUI) on your Linux device, or you need a simple text-based web browser, I will show you a couple of great programs.
A comprehensive list of Linux-related websites sorted by categories.