searching through the linux man pages
UNDERSTANDING WHAT YOU HAVE
Every fucking thing on your linux machine is documented.
And all of this documentation- is in that machine right now- for your free access.
Let me explain this another way- because I was a windows user for many years- so I think you need to get this.
Using linux for a while now, you must have heard of grep, sed, awk, find, all this other weird shit.
And it’s all … weird.. You see some posix hacker sit at your machine and roll out one liners that make your car start up in the driveway- check your and your momma’s email yahoo and gmail accounts remotely.. and..
Well- but you try it and it’s freaky.
Linux command line tools, (cli) The Command Line.. MR COMMAND LINE to you.. cli tools will do a lot with little pushing around.
If you want to turn your fucking computer off.. we just type poweroff, hit enter- and by god, motherfucker– you can walk away without looking – the shit will actually go down and shut off.
There’s no if about it.
EVERYTHING IN THE COMMAND LINE IS DOCUMENTED
People bitch a lot about the linux man pages.
I think the linux documenation is actually really fucking good.
It takes time to get used to it and understand why it seems to cryptic.
The documentation is very specific- if you want to know the options for a command, you look that up and you get what the options are. Period.
If you want to see example usage, chances are that there is a document about example usage.
This is not the windows way- in shitty documentation land- we have everything in one place. You have a manual for using your mouse, and you have everything from plugging it in and what is ‘usb’- to ergonomics of grabbing your mouse.
In linux, this would be looked down upon.
Here we do shit different- we do shit right.
You do NOT cover ergonomics and usb in a mouse manual.
You leave that to the ergonomics team, and to the usb team.
You reference to the ergonomics manual, and the usb manual. Period. Stop.
As a result of this, linux documentation is perfect. It’s vast, it’s huge and detailed- and if you find the document about the mouse, guess what- the only thing that document is about- is the mouse. Every fucking thing about it. More than you want to know- but about the mouse. Just the mouse. No cats.
ENTER MY CONCERN
Looking up information in the man pages is not so easy, when you don’t know what you’re looking for- exactly.
I am using imagemagick convert.
I want to colorize an image. I want to look up imagemagick color names.
What are they? I know there’s an imagemagick color name table..
I know it’s in my linux man pages somewhere.
How do you find this?
Now.. I hope you get that my question here is somewhat rhetorical.
I know someone who uses imagemagick all the time or who knows where the man pages will say something STUPID like “well, just look inside /usr/lib/do…… ” – I don’t want the ANSWER you bumblefuck.
I want to know how to find the answer. And googling it is ok- but why on earth would I when it’s all inside my machine.
(Fuck, ok.. yeah.. I fucking google it.. but let’s forge that for a minute here.. cause it’s so damn fine when I don’t)
So, let’s find somw ways.. how to search for documentation in your linux box..
SEARCHING THROUGH THE LINUX MAN PAGES
My first gut feeling here was maybe two cups of find, two teaspoons of grep and if it got bland- maybe a dash of perl regex.
But I resisted this.. I went to ‘man –help’ and ‘man man’, to see what we have about searching.
It seems you can look up keywords.. so I tried imagemagick colors
man -K imagemagick colors
Sure enough, it slowed my 64bit girl down some.
The first result shows up, I’m prompted to either see it or continue searching…