Although you learn the basics of using Ubuntu in this book, you need time and practice to master and troubleshoot more complex aspects of the Linux operating system and your distribution. As with any operating system, you can expect to encounter some problems or perplexing questions as you continue to work with Linux. The first place to turn for help with these issues is the documentation included with your system; if you cannot find the information you need there, check Ubuntu’s website.
Linux, like Unix, is a self-documenting system, with man pages accessible through the man command. Linux offers many other helpful commands for accessing its documentation. You can use the apropos command—for example, with a keyword such as partition—to find commands related to partitioning, like this:
$ apropos partition diskdumpfmt (8) - format a dump device or a partition fdisk (8) - Partition table manipulator for Linux GNU Parted [parted] (8) - a partition manipulation program mpartition (1) - partition an MSDOS hard disk MPI_Cart_sub (3) - Partitions a communicator into subgroups which form lower-dimensional cartesian subgrids partprobe (8) - inform the OS of partition table changes pvcreate (8) - initialize a disk or partition for use by LVM sfdisk (8) - Partition table manipulator for Linux
To find a command and its documentation, you can use the whereis command. For example, if you are looking for the fdisk command, you can do this:
$ whereis fdisk fdisk: /sbin/fdisk /usr/share/man/man8/fdisk.8.gz
Using Man Pages
To learn more about a command or program, use the man command, followed by the name of the command. Man pages for Linux and X Window commands are within the /usr/share/man, /usr/local/share/man, and /usr/X11R6/man directories; so, for example, to read the rm command’s man page, use the man command like this:
$ man rm
After you press Enter, the less command (a Linux command known as a pager) displays the man page. The less command is a text browser you can use to scroll forward and backward (even sideways) through the document to learn more about the command. Type the letter h to get help, use the forward slash to enter a search string, or press q to quit.