Linux: Man Page Keys

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Command to Display Man Page

To show the manual page for the command cd, type

man cd

Man Pages Keys

Here's the most important keys when viewing man page.

Type man bash and try these keys.

These keys are similar to vi's keys. (not exactly compatible. For example, page down in vi is Ctrl + f, not f.) [see vi tutorial]

See also: Linux: Bash/Terminal Keys

View Man Page in Emacs

Emacs: View Linux man Page

How to get text output of man page?

man ls | col -b

The “col -b” formats the man page to plain text. (It removes control chars. (Control chars are used to make text bold, etc.)).

How to read a non-compressed man page without the “man” command?

nroff -man | col -b

This is convenient when you need to read a man-page file once without adding the dir to your $MANPATH.

How to read a compressed man page without the “man” command?

cat n43921.1 | compress -cd - | nroff -man | col -b

How to read a unformatted man page?

nroff -man ftpshut.8

The “man” command is essentially

nroff -e -man filename | more -s

Linux Shell Basics

Directory and Files

Compress, Archive, Download

Text Processing

User, Group, File Perm


Process, Job Control


Linux Desktop