O'Reilly logo

Learning Unix for Mac OS X, Second Edition by Dave Taylor, Brian Jepson

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 10. Where to Go from Here

Now that you’re almost to the end of this guide, let’s look at some ways to continue learning about the Unix side of Mac OS X. Documentation is an obvious choice, but it isn’t always in obvious places. You can save time by taking advantage of other shell features — aliases, functions, and scripts — that let you shorten a repetitive job and “let the computer do the dirty work.”

We’ll close by seeing how you can use Unix commands on non-Unix systems.

Documentation

You might want to know the options to the programs we’ve introduced and get more information about them and the many other Unix programs. You’re now ready to consult your system’s documentation and other resources.

The man Command

Different versions of Unix have adapted Unix documentation in different ways. Almost all Unix systems have documentation derived from a manual originally called the Unix Programmer’s Manual . The manual has numbered sections; each section is a collection of manual pages, often called manpages; each program has its own manpage. Section 1 has manpages for general Unix programs such as who and ls.

Mac OS X has individual manpages stored on the computer; users can read them online. If you want to know the correct syntax for entering a command or the particular features of a program, enter the command man and the name of the command. The syntax is:

man command

For example, if you want to find information about the program vi, which allows you to edit files, enter:

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required