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Learning Unix for OS X by Dave Taylor

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Chapter 10. Where to Go from Here

Now that you’re almost at the end of this guide, let’s look at some ways to continue learning about the Unix side of OS X. Documentation is an obvious choice, but it isn’t always in obvious places. I’ll give you a few pointers on where to look. You can also learn how to 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.”

Documentation

You might want to know more about the options to the programs I’ve introduced here, and get more information about them and the many other Unix programs out there. 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.

OS X has individual manpages stored on the computer, and you can also read them online. If you want to know the correct syntax for entering a command or the particular features of a program, enter the command man, followed by the name of the command about which you need information.

For example, if you want to find information about the program vi, which allows you to ...

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