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Linux® For Dummies®, 8th Edition by Richard Blum, Dee-Ann LeBlanc

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Linux Commands by Function

Because every command serves a specific purpose, organizing these tools into groups according to their individual functions isn’t difficult. If you know what you need to do but don’t know which command does the job, flip through this section to start your search. From here, you can dig further by referencing man pages and other help information (online sites and reference books, for example) or by looking in this book’s index for further coverage. To access a man page, type man command at a command prompt. For example, man ls shows you the help information for the file listing command.

Getting Help

When you’re digging around for help on a command, you can call on an interesting range of shell commands for assistance, as shown in Table A-1.

Table A-1. Shell Help Commands
CommandPurpose
aproposLooks for commands that contain a keyword in their man page descriptions.
infoOne way of finding help information. You can find instructions for this tool at www.gnu.org/software/texinfo/manual/info/, or you can use the built-in tutorial by starting the info tool and pressing the H key when inside it.
manThe primary way of getting help in Linux and UNIX.
whatisGets a one-line description of a command.

Locating details about the command-prompt options of a command is a never-ending pursuit. The man page system provides some helpful guides at your fingertips for rapidly finding this detailed information.

Archiving and compressing

Although disk space isn’t as much of a ...

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