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Linux Man Pages: Definitions, Sections and important commands

Man Pages are basically manual pages mostly found in Unix or Unix-like operating systems. These pages are called “Man Pages” since these are read with man command. These pages are usually pre-installed in the computer systems.

Man Pages Sections

Manual pages are broadly divided in eight (8) major categories ( check the table below ). You can find their section numbers on top of man pages in brackets. For example in LS (1) for ls command man page. It means ls command is a user level or application level command.

Section Description/Contents
1 User-level commands and applications  OR General Commands
2 System Calls and Kernel error codes
3 Library functions
4 Device drivers and Network protocols
5 File formats and Conventions
6 Games and demonstrations
7 Miscellaneous files and documents
8 System Administration Commands and Daemons

In some systems, there are also few others sections like section-9 for Kernel Specs and Interfaces. There is a considerable difference in the exact distribution of man pages, however, it is not a problem since man command finds appropriate page wherever relevant pages are stored.

Man Pages Command | How to use MAN Pages 

Man page command consist of two parts first one is simple it is man and another part can be called title. The title can be a command, device, filename or name of a library routine.

Man command syntax and examples

Common man page syntax is quite easy, all you have to write man before the command, for example

man  ls

Command will give you all the command list for ls command along with its Author, Copyright, documentation etc. information.

Man command for sections

Man command can be used to find man pages from a particular section too, if same command is applicable to other sections. For example

man sync

command gets you the man page for sync command and

man 2 sync

Command will get man page for the sync system call.

Pranav K

Pranav K is a software engineer and all-round computer geek. His interests include AWS, Ubuntu and Wordpress

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