Accessing man pages on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

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Having access to man pages on your server is a pretty essential asset to be familiar with. If you’re not familiar with man pages they are documentation provided with software packages on Unix systems. They provide a sort of manual for applications, services and system resources. You can learn more about man pages in our introductory article. By default on Ubuntu based servers this command is not provided, since it’s a great tool to have access to this article will help you get them setup.

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What are man pages?

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When you buy a new tool, piece of equipment, or hardware device, in the box you’ll find a useful manual. The manual covers various methods to use device, safety procedures and troubleshooting tips. These manual books are an invaluable knowledge tool when learning to use new equipment – what about computers though?

When it comes to computers you rarely, if ever, get a physical manual. When you do it’s usually going to be very specific to the hardware of the device, but not the software. On UNIX based OS’s when you need to read about software you pull up the man pages. Short for manual pages, the man pages are a type of document that provides details on using various commands and applications. Man pages are super simple to use and can help you learn without Google! Continue reading “What are man pages?”

7 Extremely Useful Linux Commands for Beginners

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7 Extremely Useful Linux Commands for Beginners

ls : What’s in This Directory?

The command ls stands for list directory contents. And, cleverly, it will do just that: list a directory’s contents! Using it with -F will give a list of the directories contents, and denote items that are other directories with a trailing /.

ls -F

On my server returns:

allthethings.txt  important.doc  Indominus/  Misc/  probs.xls  Red Wings/  Spreadsheets/  Work/

In the above case, allthethings.txt, garbage.file, important.doc, and probs.xls are files, and Indominus, Misc, Red Wings, Spreadsheets, and Work, each with the trailing /, are directories!

There are many other options, or switches, such as -F that can be used with ls for improved results. For example:

ls -lFa

Returns:

dr-xr-x---. 10 root root 4096 Apr 17 12:01 .
 drwxr-xr-x. 19 root root 4096 Apr 14 12:45 ..
 -rw-r--r--  1 root root    0 Apr 17 12:00 allthethings.txt
 -rw-------  1 root root  483 Apr 14 12:45 .bash_history
 -rw-r--r--. 1 root root   18 Dec 28  2013 .bash_logout
 -rw-r--r--. 1 root root  176 Dec 28  2013 .bash_profile
 -rw-r--r--. 1 root root  361 Jan  1 01:24 .bashrc
 drwxr-xr-x  3 root root 4096 Jan  1 01:25 .cache/
 drwxr-xr-x  3 root root 4096 Jan  1 01:25 .config/
 -rw-r--r--. 1 root root  100 Dec 28  2013 .cshrc
 -rw-r--r--  1 root root    0 Apr 17 12:01 garbage.file
 -rw-r--r--  1 root root    0 Apr 17 11:58 important.doc
 drwxr-xr-x  2 root root 4096 Apr 17 11:59 Indominus/
 drwxr-xr-x  2 root root 4096 Apr 17 11:57 Misc/
 -rw-------  1 root root   42 Apr 14 12:44 .my.cnf
 -rw-r--r--  1 root root    0 Apr 17 12:00 probs.xls
 drwxr-xr-x  2 root root 4096 Apr 17 11:57 Red Wings/
 -rw-------  1 root root 1024 Jan  1 01:22 .rnd
 drwxr-xr-x  2 root root 4096 Apr 17 11:56 Spreadsheets/
 drw-------  2 root root 4096 Apr 14 12:42 .ssh/
 -rw-r--r--. 1 root root  129 Dec 28  2013 .tcshrc
 drwxr-xr-x  2 root root 4096 Apr 17 11:57 Work/

In the above case two switches are added: -l and -a. The -l uses the long listing format, and the -a switch lists all the files, including hidden files.

Each column contains an important bit of information:

Column | Information | Example

  • 1 | Permissions | drwxr-xr-x
  • 2 | # of Hard Links | 2
  • 3 | User That Owns File or Directory | root
  • 4 | Group for File or Directory | root
  • 5 | File Size | 4096
  • 6 | Timestamp | Apr 17 11:59
  • 7 | Filename | Indominus/

pwd : What Directory Am I Running Commands In?

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