Friday, February 13, 2009

Class 3 Getting Help!

Getting Help!

I was very disturbed when i saw the black screen of gnu/linux for the first time.I was used with the GUI of windows XP , which i was using for years. I thought windows was better,since its easy to work with. But time proved that i was wrong. The "Black Window" is so powerful and we can do what ever we would like to with the hepls of "commands".Every task is done using these commands. Comands are case sensetive. The gnu/linux has thousands of commands. Its very hard to remember these commands,so gnu/linux provides help for its users for easy and correct execution of it.
some of the helping agents are:
  • man
  • help
  • whatis
  • apropos
  • howto etc...
eg: 'ls' is a command to list all the files and directories.
the format of a command is - command -[option] [argument]
(command space - option space argument)
ls -a "file.txt"
here command is ls ,option is 'a' , and argument is file.txt.

so there are lots of options available to get different results for the ls commands.If we donno the options , we can ask for help by typing ' man ls ' which list all the detailed options and its explanations. The man pages are saved in the location /usr/share/man.when we goto the above location we can find several directories named as man1,man2,man3...man9 likewise.

Man Pages (short for manual pages) are a standard form of documentation found on most distributions of Linux and Unix. They are broken up into 9 sections as follows:

  1. Executable Programs or shell commands
  2. System Calls
  3. Library Calls
  4. Special Files
  5. File Formats and Conventions
  6. Games
  7. Macro Packages
  8. System Administration
  9. Kernel Routines

to know more about man pages ,just type "man man".

commands helps us to do our tasks .we can type the command after logging to the computer as the root or as a different user.A root is a user who has all the privileges on a computer, or else he is the administrator of a gnu/linux based system.After logging with the user name and password we can type the command.

The 'command line' is the line on which commands are typed in a console or terminal window. A command is an instruction given to  a computer to do something, e.g., to execute a program.

The functions of a command prompt are to inform the user that the system is ready for the next command, data element or other input and to help the user plan and execute subsequent operations.Prompts are found on the command line interface of any operating system that provides a CLI(Command Line Interface). This includes not only Unix-like operating systems but also MS-DOS and the various Microsoft Windows systems.

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