Getting Help by Using man in Linux/Unix Platform


Using ‘man’ Page

  • ‘man’ page displays commands objective, syntax and their option list.
  • It also displays typical examples



This command will show the list of available options in the cp(copy) command.

The list will be sufficiently long, so you might require to search text in the man page.

/text is used to search the text in forward direction and then you can press, n : to locate next occurrence of the searched text in forward direction, if you feel that the text has been left behind, use : to locate next occurrence of the searched text in reverse direction.

Cursor Movement:

: to move to the top of the ‘man’ page.

: to move to the bottom of the ‘man’ page.

q : to exit from the ‘man’ page.

For example: If you need to look for the available options with ls

There will be following output:

[NOTE: The options can be combined and the effect is combined effect of the commands.]

Sometimes the name of a command might match with the name of a file, for e.g. Assuming I have copied the /etc/passwd file in the home directory.

will not be able to provide exactly what we are looking for.

Use, 1 to represent command and 5 to represent the filename.

For example:


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