Chapter 8. Where to Go from Here

Now that you’re almost to the end of this guide, let’s look at some ways to continue learning about Unix. Documentation is an obvious choice, but it isn’t always in obvious places. You can save time by taking advantage of other shell features—aliases, functions, and scripts—that let you shorten a repetitive job and “let the computer do the dirty work.”

We’ll close by seeing how you can use Unix commands on non-Unix systems.


You might want to know the options to the programs we’ve introduced—and get more information about them and the many other Unix programs. You’re now ready to consult your system’s documentation and other resources.

The man Command

Different versions of Unix have adapted Unix documentation in different ways. Almost all Unix systems have documentation derived from a manual originally called the Unix Programmer’s Manual. The manual has numbered sections; each section is a collection of manual pages, often called “manpages”; each program has its own manpage. Section 1 has manpages for general Unix programs such as who and ls.

Many Unix installations have individual manual pages stored on the computer; users can read them online. If your system has online manpages, and you want to know the correct syntax for entering a command or the particular features of a program, enter the command man and the name of the command. The syntax is:

man command

For example, if you want to find information about the program

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