“man” command is a very useful command of Unix. It’s abbreviation of “manual”. Actually in Unix man command used to display the manual of any command. In Unix every command has independent existence and file of every command stored in certain directory. These files contains programs which are written in C. So after running this command it will display all the information about particular command.

“man” command display the manual page which is divided into a number of compulsory and optional sections. Every command does not have all the sections but the first three sections generally come in all man pages. These sections are-

  • Name
  • Synopsis
  • Description

Name:- Name section contains one line introduction about the command. It displays the what is the command and what is the use of it?

Synopsis:- This section shows the syntax and arguments used by the command. It tells that characteristic of command and how it will be used.

Description:- Description is nothing but details description of particular command. Often it is the largest section of any command.

The Synopsis section has some convention and rules which is useful for every users like

  • If command argument is closed with the rectangular brackets then it’s not required arguments, otherwise argument is not required.
  • A set of three dots (chap…) indicates that there can be more arguments of the preceding word.
  • The pipe | indicates that only one of the options shown on the either side of pipe can be used.

There are also some other sections like Options, Operands, Usage, Exit Status and etc.

Maybe it will be useful for beginner but I have post it only for my knowledge base.


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