Manual Pages (man)

man stands for manual page

Any Unix introduction would be totally remiss if it didn’t teach you what man means right away.

That’s because man is your key to unlocking the world of Unix.

As a sexist artifact of how men center ourselves in language, it remains true still that man is short for manual page. You can type man before any Unix command which you are curious about (that is, any command you want to see the manual for) and then learn how to use the command you are curious about.

You can look up the existing manual pages for the commands we just learned — cd and ls —  like so:

man cd

man ls

That’s it.

You will see the instructions, or manual page, for the change directory and list Unix commands.

In fact, this tutorial should now be irrelevant. From this moment forward you are empowered to learn any Unix command you want, immediately, just by looking at its manual page. Just type ‘man’, then a space, and then the Unix command and hit return.

Nonetheless, even though I am now irrelevant because you can just use man to learn anything about Unix commands, I have a few more Unix tips up my sleeve!