Appendix A

A.1 Where to go for help

In UNIX, help on the various commands and their use can be found using the built-in help system which contains all of the system manuals. To view the manual page for a given command use:

$ man command_name

For example to get information on the ls command:

$ msn ls LS(1) User Commands LS(1) NAME ls - list directory contents SYNOPSIS ls [OPTION]... [FILE]... DESCRIPTION List information about the FILEs (the current directory by default). Sort entries alphabetically if none of -cftuvSUX nor --sort. Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too. -a, --all do not ignore entries starting with . ...

The output is presented in an easy-to-read format using the less program so that you can quickly move back and forwards through the text (see Section 7.3 for information on how to use less).

If you are unsure of which command you need, you can get man to do a keyword search using:

$ man -k keyword

For example to see all the information pertaining to copying files:

$ msn -k "copy files" cp (1) - copy files and directories cp (1p) - copy files cpio (1) - copy files to and from archives File::Copy (3pm) - Copy files or filehandles git-checkout-index (1) - Copy files from the index to the working tree install (1) - copy files and set attributes

(Note that since there is a space between the keywords, they must be enclosed in quotes).

On Linux systems such as chadwick, you can get a short summary of the options for a command by following the command name with the --help option e.g.

$ ls --help | less Usage: ls [OPTION]... [FILE]... List information about the FILEs (the current directory by default). Sort entries alphabetically if none of -cftuvSUX nor --sort. Mandatory arguments to long options are mandatory for short options too. -a, --all do not ignore entries starting with . -A, --almost-all do not list implied . and .. --author with -l, print the author of each file -b, --escape print octal escapes for nongraphic characters --block-size=SIZE use SIZE-byte blocks. See SIZE format below -B, --ignore-backups do not list implied entries ending with ~ -c with -lt: sort by, and show, ctime (time of last modification of file status information) with -l: show ctime and sort by name ...

(The output has been displayed via less to make it easier to scroll through.)

A.2 Command summary

Command Meaning
man command_name display the manual page for command_name
man -k keyword search for commands pertaining to keyword