Re: Why newbies don't RTFM...
From: Malte (You_can_spam_me_here_at_nmalte.dk)
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 16:35:21 +0200
Random Penguin wrote:
> Hi guys. Even though I've used Linux before, I've never had to do any
> admin tasks until recently when I had to install a dual boot system at
> home because some programs from college must use Linux. All of a sudden
> I have to use more commands than cd/ls/cp/rm.
> I'm sure you all have been wondering what is it with newbies and not
> reading manuals...well, an honest answer would be that some people find
> the manuals just too confusing, long and unhelpful.
> In the output of "man cd" below, see how confusing, long and unhelpful
> it is. I gave up copying and pasting after about line 300. I'm not
> trying to belittle the author(s) work here, and I'm sure there are
> people out there who find a use for each paragraph....
> But surely you Linux experts could help the beginners by having either
> separate manuals for advanced users or appending the long bits to the
> end of an "easy" manual? I have to websurf to find out how to do things
> in Linux (apart from asking NGs). I find the answers on websites a lot
> more direct to what I'm looking for (especially if I have specific
> keywords in Google, like "adsl usb modem installation linux").
> A manual I'd classify as easy/helpful:
> - Is brief and to the point
> - Gives **examples** (very important!) in descending order of how
> frequently they're used
> Please don't take this as a troll post, instead take it as constructive
> criticism. Personally I think Linux is the way forward; I loathe having
> to pay other people for permission + the ability to use my own computer
> hardware I paid for.
> Hope this helps the guys writing the next kernel :)
> bash, :, ., [, alias, bg, bind, break, builtin, cd, command,
> compgen, complete, con‚
> tinue, declare, dirs, disown, echo, enable, eval, exec, exit,
> export, fc, fg, getopts,
> hash, help, history, jobs, kill, let, local, logout, popd,
> printf, pushd, pwd, read,
> readonly, return, set, shift, shopt, source, suspend, test,
> times, trap, type, typeset,
> ulimit, umask, unalias, unset, wait - bash built-in commands,
> see bash(1)
> BASH BUILTIN COMMANDS
> Unless otherwise noted, each builtin command documented in
> this section as accepting
> options preceded by - accepts -- to signify the end of the
> : [arguments]
> No effect; the command does nothing beyond expanding
> arguments and performing any
> specified redirections. A zero exit code is returned.
> . filename [arguments]
> source filename [arguments]
> Read and execute commands from filename in the
> current shell environment and
> return the exit status of the last command executed from
> filename. If filename
> does not contain a slash, file names in PATH are used to
> find the directory con‚
> taining filename. The file searched for in PATH need not
> be executable. When
> bash is not in posix mode, the current directory is
> searched if no file is found
> in PATH. If the sourcepath option to the shopt builtin
> command is turned off,
> the PATH is not searched. If any arguments are
> supplied, they become the posi‚
> tional parameters when filename is executed. Otherwise
> the positional parameters
> are unchanged. The return status is the status of the
> last command exited within
> the script (0 if no commands are executed), and false if
> filename is not found or
> cannot be read.
> alias [-p] [name[=value] ...]
> Alias with no arguments or with the -p option prints
> the list of aliases in the
> form alias name=value on standard output. When arguments
> are supplied, an alias
> is defined for each name whose value is given. A
> trailing space in value causes
> the next word to be checked for alias substitution when
> the alias is expanded.
> For each name in the argument list for which no value
> is supplied, the name and
> value of the alias is printed. Alias returns true unless
> a name is given for
> which no alias has been defined.
> bg [jobspec]
> Resume the suspended job jobspec in the background,
> as if it had been started
> with &. If jobspec is not present, the shell's notion
> of the current job is
> used. bg jobspec returns 0 unless run when job control
> is disabled or, when run
> with job control enabled, if jobspec was not found or
> started without job con‚
> bind [-m keymap] [-lpsvPSV]
> bind [-m keymap] [-q function] [-u function] [-r keyseq]
> bind [-m keymap] -f filename
> bind [-m keymap] -x keyseq:shell-command
> bind [-m keymap] keyseq:function-name
> bind readline-command
> Display current readline key and function bindings,
> bind a key sequence to a
> readline function or macro, or set a readline variable.
> Each non-option argument
> is a command as it would appear in .inputrc, but each
> binding or command must be
> passed as a separate argument; e.g., '"\C-x\C-r":
> re-read-init-file'. Options,
> if supplied, have the following meanings:
> -m keymap
> Use keymap as the keymap to be affected by
> the subsequent bindings.
> Acceptable keymap names are emacs, emacs-standard,
> emacs-meta, emacs-ctlx,
> vi, vi-move, vi-command, and vi-insert. vi is
> equivalent to vi-command;
> emacs is equivalent to emacs-standard.
> -l List the names of all readline functions.
> -p Display readline function names and bindings in
> such a way that they can
> be re-read.
> -P List current readline function names and bindings.
> -v Display readline variable names and values in
> such a way that they can be
> -V List current readline variable names and values.
> -s Display readline key sequences bound to macros and
> the strings they output
> in such a way that they can be re-read.
> -S Display readline key sequences bound to macros
> and the strings they out‚
> -f filename
> Read key bindings from filename.
> -q function
> Query about which keys invoke the named function.
> -u function
> Unbind all keys bound to the named function.
> -r keyseq
> Remove any current binding for keyseq.
> -x keyseq:shell-command
> Cause shell-command to be executed whenever keyseq
> is entered.
> The return value is 0 unless an unrecognized option
> is given or an error
> break [n]
> Exit from within a for, while, until, or select loop. If
> n is specified, break n
> levels. n must be ‚• 1. If n is greater than the
> number of enclosing loops, all
> enclosing loops are exited. The return value is 0
> unless the shell is not exe‚
> cuting a loop when break is executed.
> builtin shell-builtin [arguments]
> Execute the specified shell builtin, passing it
> arguments, and return its exit
> status. This is useful when defining a function
> whose name is the same as a
> shell builtin, retaining the functionality of the builtin
> within the function.
> The cd builtin is commonly redefined this way. The
> return status is false if
> shell-builtin is not a shell builtin command.
> cd [-L|-P] [dir]
> Change the current directory to dir. The variable HOME
> is the default dir. The
> variable CDPATH defines the search path for the directory
> containing dir. Alter‚
> native directory names in CDPATH are separated by a colon
> (:). A null directory
> name in CDPATH is the same as the current directory,
> i.e., ‚‚.''. If dir begins
> with a slash (/), then CDPATH is not used. The -P option
> says to use the physical
> directory structure instead of following symbolic links
> (see also the -P option
> to the set builtin command); the -L option forces
> symbolic links to be followed.
> An argument of - is equivalent to $OLDPWD. If a
> non-empty directory name from
> CDPATH is used, or if - is the first argument, and the
> directory change is suc‚
> cessful, the absolute pathname of the new working
> directory is written to the
> standard output. The return value is true if the
> directory was successfully
> changed; false otherwise.
> caller [expr]
> Returns the context of any active subroutine call (a
> shell function or a script
> executed with the . or source builtins. Without expr,
> caller displays the line
> number and source filename of the current subroutine
> call. If a non-negative
> integer is supplied as expr, caller displays the line
> number, subroutine name,
> and source file corresponding to that position in
> the current execution call
> stack. This extra information may be used, for example,
> to print a stack trace.
> The current frame is frame 0. The return value is 0
> unless the shell is not exe‚
> cuting a subroutine call or expr does not correspond to a
> valid position in the
> call stack.
> command [-pVv] command [arg ...]
> Run command with args suppressing the normal shell
> function lookup. Only builtin
> commands or commands found in the PATH are executed. If
> the -p option is given,
> the search for command is performed using a default
> value for PATH that is guar‚
> anteed to find all of the standard utilities. If either
> the -V or -v option is
> supplied, a description of command is printed. The
> -v option causes a single
> word indicating the command or file name used to invoke
> command to be displayed;
> the -V option produces a more verbose description.
> If the -V or -v option is
> supplied, the exit status is 0 if command was found, and
> 1 if not. If neither
> option is supplied and an error occurred or command
> cannot be found, the exit
> status is 127. Otherwise, the exit status of the command
> builtin is the exit
> status of command.
> compgen [option] [word]
> Generate possible completion matches for word according
> to the options, which may
> be any option accepted by the complete builtin with the
> exception of -p and -r,
> and write the matches to the standard output. When
> using the -F or -C options,
> the various shell variables set by the programmable
> completion facilities, while
> available, will not have useful values.
> The matches will be generated in the same way as if the
> programmable completion
> code had generated them directly from a completion
> specification with the same
> flags. If word is specified, only those completions
> matching word will be dis‚
> The return value is true unless an invalid option is
> supplied, or no matches were
> complete [-abcdefgjksuv] [-o comp-option] [-A action] [-G
> globpat] [-W wordlist] [-P
> prefix] [-S suffix]
> [-X filterpat] [-F function] [-C command] name [name ...]
> complete -pr [name ...]
> Specify how arguments to each name should be completed.
> If the -p option is sup‚
> plied, or if no options are supplied, existing
> completion specifications are
> printed in a way that allows them to be reused as input.
> The -r option removes a
> completion specification for each name, or, if no names
> are supplied, all comple‚
> tion specifications.
> The process of applying these completion specifications
> when word completion is
> attempted is described above under Programmable
> Other options, if specified, have the following meanings.
> The arguments to the
> -G, -W, and -X options (and, if necessary, the -P
> and -S options) should be
> quoted to protect them from expansion before the complete
> builtin is invoked.
> -o comp-option
> The comp-option controls several aspects of
> the compspec's behavior
> beyond the simple generation of completions.
> comp-option may be one of:
> Perform the rest of the default bash
> completions if the compspec
> generates no matches.
> default Use readline's default filename
> completion if the compspec gener‚
> ates no matches.
> Perform directory name completion if
> the compspec generates no
> Tell readline that the compspec generates
> filenames, so it can
> perform any filename-specific processing
> (like adding a slash to
> directory names or suppressing trailing
> spaces). Intended to be
> used with shell functions.
> nospace Tell readline not to append a space
> (the default) to words com‚
> pleted at the end of the line.
> -A action
> The action may be one of the following to
> generate a list of possible
> alias Alias names. May also be specified as
> Array variable names.
> binding Readline key binding names.
> builtin Names of shell builtin commands. May
> also be specified as -b.
> command Command names. May also be specified as
> Directory names. May also be specified
> as -d.
> Names of disabled shell builtins.
> enabled Names of enabled shell builtins.
> export Names of exported shell variables. May
> also be specified as -e.
> file File names. May also be specified as -f.
> Names of shell functions.
> group Group names. May also be specified as
> Help topics as accepted by the help
> Hostnames, as taken from the file
> specified by the HOSTFILE shell
> job Job names, if job control is active.
> May also be specified as
> keyword Shell reserved words. May also be
> specified as -k.
> running Names of running jobs, if job control is
> service Service names. May also be specified as
> setopt Valid arguments for the -o option to the
> set builtin.
> shopt Shell option names as accepted by the
> shopt builtin.
> signal Signal names.
> stopped Names of stopped jobs, if job control is
> user User names. May also be specified as -u.
> Names of all shell variables. May also
> be specified as -v.
> -G globpat
> The filename expansion pattern globpat is
> expanded to generate the possi‚
> ble completions.
> -W wordlist
> The wordlist is split using the characters in the
> IFS special variable as
> delimiters, and each resultant word is expanded.
> The possible comple‚
> tions are the members of the resultant list
> which match the word being
> -C command
> command is executed in a subshell environment,
> and its output is used as
> the possible completions.
> -F function
> The shell function function is executed in the
> current shell environment.
> When it finishes, the possible completions are
> retrieved from the value
> of the COMPREPLY array variable.
> -X filterpat
> filterpat is a pattern as used for filename
> expansion. It is applied to
> the list of possible completions generated by the
> preceding options and
> arguments, and each completion matching
> filterpat is removed from the
> list. A leading ! in filterpat negates the
> pattern; in this case, any
> completion not matching filterpat is removed.
> -P prefix
> prefix is added at the beginning of each
> possible completion after all
> other options have been applied.
> -S suffix
> suffix is appended to each possible completion
> after all other options
> have been applied.
> The return value is true unless an invalid option is
> supplied, an option other
> than -p or -r is supplied without a name argument, an
> attempt is made to remove a
> completion specification for a name for which no
> specification exists, or an
> error occurs adding a completion specification.
> continue [n]
> Resume the next iteration of the enclosing for, while,
> until, or select loop. If
> n is specified, resume at the nth enclosing loop.
> n must be ‚• 1. If n is
> greater than the number of enclosing loops, the last
> enclosing loop (the ‚‚top-
> level'' loop) is resumed. The return value is 0 unless
> the shell is not execut‚
> ing a loop when continue is executed.
> declare [-afFirtx] [-p] [name[=value] ...]
> typeset [-afFirtx] [-p] [name[=value] ...]
> Declare variables and/or give them attributes. If no
> names are given then dis‚
> play the values of variables. The -p option will display
> the attributes and val‚
> ues of each name. When -p is used, additional options
> are ignored. The -F
> option inhibits the display of function definitions;
> only the function name and
> attributes are printed. If the extdebug shell option is
> enabled using shopt, the
> source file name and line number where the function is
> defined are displayed as
> well. The -F option implies -f. The following options
> can be used to restrict
> output to variables with the specified attribute or to
> give variables attributes:
> -a Each name is an array variable (see Arrays above).
> -f Use function names only.
> -i The variable is treated as an integer; arithmetic
> evaluation (see ARITH‚
> METIC EVALUATION ) is performed when the variable
> is assigned a value.
> -r Make names readonly. These names cannot then be
> assigned values by subse‚
> quent assignment statements or unset.
> -t Give each name the trace attribute. Traced
> functions inherit the DEBUG
> trap from the calling shell. The trace
> attribute has no special meaning
> for variables.
> -x Mark names for export to subsequent commands via
> the environment.
> Using ‚+' instead of ‚-' turns off the attribute
> instead, with the exception that
> +a may not be used to destroy an array variable. When
> used in a function, makes
> each name local, as with the local command. If a
> variable name is followed by
> =value, the value of the variable is set to value. The
> return value is 0 unless
> an invalid option is encountered, an attempt is made to
> define a function using
> ‚‚-f foo=bar'', an attempt is made to assign a value
> to a readonly variable, an
> attempt is made to assign a value to an array variable
> without using the compound
> assignment syntax (see Arrays above), one of the names is
> not a valid shell vari‚
> able name, an attempt is made to turn off readonly status
> for a readonly vari‚
> able, an attempt is made to turn off array status for
> an array variable, or an
> attempt is made to display a non-existent function with
> dirs [-clpv] [+n] [-n]
> Without options, displays the list of currently
> remembered directories. The
> default display is on a single line with directory
> names separated by spaces.
> Directories are added to the list with the pushd
> command; the popd command
> removes entries from the list.
> +n Displays the nth entry counting from the left
> of the list shown by dirs
> when invoked without options, starting with zero.
> -n Displays the nth entry counting from the right of
> the list shown by dirs
> when invoked without options, starting with zero.
> -c Clears the directory stack by deleting all of the
> -l Produces a longer listing; the default
> listing format uses a tilde to
> denote the home directory.
> -p Print the directory stack with one entry per line.
> -v Print the directory stack with one entry per line,
> prefixing each entry
> with its index in the stack.
> The return value is 0 unless an invalid option is
> supplied or n indexes beyond
> the end of the directory stack.
> disown [-ar] [-h] [jobspec ...]
> Without options, each jobspec is removed from the table
> of active jobs. If the
> -h option is given, each jobspec is not removed from the
> table, but is marked so
> that SIGHUP is not sent to the job if the shell receives
> a SIGHUP. If no jobspec
> is present, and neither the -a nor the -r option is
> supplied, the current job is
> used. If no jobspec is supplied, the -a option means to
> remove or mark all jobs;
> the -r option without a jobspec argument restricts
> operation to running jobs.
> The return value is 0 unless a jobspec does not specify a
> valid job.
> echo [-neE] [arg ...]
> Output the args, separated by spaces, followed by a
> newline. The return status
> is always 0. If -n is specified, the trailing newline
> is suppressed. If the -e
> option is given, interpretation of the following
> backslash-escaped characters is
> enabled. The -E option disables the interpretation of
> these escape characters,
> even on systems where they are interpreted by default.
> The xpg_echo shell option
> may be used to dynamically determine whether or not
> echo expands these escape
> characters by default. echo does not interpret -- to
> mean the end of options.
> echo interprets the following escape sequences:
> \a alert (bell)
> \b backspace
> \c suppress trailing newline
> \e an escape character
> \f form feed
> \n new line
> \r carriage return
> \t horizontal tab
> \v vertical tab
> \\ backslash
> \0nnn the eight-bit character whose value is the octal
> value nnn (zero to three
> octal digits)
> \nnn the eight-bit character whose value is the octal
> value nnn (one to three
> octal digits)
> \xHH the eight-bit character whose value is the
> hexadecimal value HH (one or
> two hex digits)
> enable [-adnps] [-f filename] [name ...]
> Enable and disable builtin shell commands. Disabling a
> builtin allows a disk
> command which has the same name as a shell builtin to be
> executed without speci‚
> fying a full pathname, even though the shell normally
> searches for builtins
> before disk commands. If -n is used, each name is
> disabled; otherwise, names are
> enabled. For example, to use the test binary found via
> the PATH instead of the
> shell builtin version, run ‚‚enable -n test''. The
> -f option means to load the
> new builtin command name from shared object filename, on
> systems that support
> dynamic loading. The -d option will delete a builtin
> previously loaded with -f.
> If no name arguments are given, or if the -p option is
> supplied, a list of shell
> builtins is printed. With no other option arguments,
> the list consists of all
> enabled shell builtins. If -n is supplied, only disabled
> builtins are printed.
> If -a is supplied, the list printed includes all
> builtins, with an indication of
> whether or not each is enabled. If -s is supplied, the
> output is restricted to
> the POSIX special builtins. The return value is 0
> unless a name is not a shell
> builtin or there is an error loading a new builtin from a
> shared object.
> eval [arg ...]
> The args are read and concatenated together into a single
> command. This command
> is then read and executed by the shell, and its exit
> status is returned as the
> value of eval. If there are no args, or only null
> arguments, eval returns 0.
> exec [-cl] [-a name] [command [arguments]]
> If command is specified, it replaces the shell. No new
> process is created. The
> arguments become the arguments to command. If the -l
> option is supplied, the
> shell places a dash at the beginning of the zeroth arg
> passed to command. This
> is what login(1) does. The -c option causes command to
> be executed with an empty
> environment. If -a is supplied, the shell passes name as
> the zeroth argument to
> the executed command. If command cannot be executed
> for some reason, a non-
> interactive shell exits, unless the shell option execfail
> is enabled, in which
> case it returns failure. An interactive shell returns
> failure if the file cannot
> be executed. If command is not specified, any
> redirections take effect in the
> current shell, and the return status is 0. If there is
> a redirection error, the
> return status is 1.
> exit [n]
> Cause the shell to exit with a status of n. If n is
> omitted, the exit status is
> that of the last command executed. A trap on EXIT is
> executed before the shell
> export [-fn] [name[=word]] ...
> export -p
> The supplied names are marked for automatic export to the
> environment of subse‚
> quently executed commands. If the -f option is given,
> the names refer to func‚
> tions. If no names are given, or if the -p option is
> supplied, a list of all
> names that are exported in this shell is printed.
> The -n option causes the
> export property to be removed from each name. If a
> variable name is followed by
You know it's not that hard:
Entry into google:
linux bash quick reference
Result on page 2
Print the thing, laminate it.
If you already installed Linux you demonstrated a (somewhat) eager and
inquiring mind. Continue to sport that mind.
If you really, REALLY don't want to learn the easy stuff, just use
KDE/Konqueror and let the mouse to the work.