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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Learn About Commands with info

info

The man command, and the resulting man pages, are simple to work with, even if the content isn't always as user friendly as you might like. In response to that and other perceived shortcomings with man pages, the GNU Project, which is responsible in many ways for many of the commands you're reading about in this book, created its own format: Info pages, which use the info command for viewing.

Info pages tend to be better written, more comprehensive, and more user friendly in terms of content than man pages, but man pages are far easier to use. A man page is just one page, while Info pages almost always organize their contents into multiple sections, called nodes, which might also contain subsections, called subnodes. The trick is learning how to navigate not just around an individual page, but also between nodes and subnodes. It can be a bit overwhelming at first to just move around and find what you're seeking in Info pages, which is rather ironic: Something that was supposed to be nicer for newbies than man is actually far harder for the novice to learn and use.

There are many facets to info, and one of the best commands to use info against is, in fact, info. To learn how to use info, as well as read about info, enter the following command:

$ info info

This opens the Info page for the info command. Now you need to learn how to get around in this new Info world.

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