Utilities

Excellent Utilities: tldr – simplified and community-driven man pages

Summary

The system’s man pages contain a wealth of useful information. But sometimes it’s hard to see the wood for the trees. Even experienced users can be bamboozled by the sheer complexity of some man pages. Many tools have been in development for many years and have, over time, had feature upon feature added. Some commands and programs have a huge number of options. The sheer number can make it difficult to find what you are looking for, or to understand the key options that are available.

Step forward tldr. It’s a really useful utility for anyone new to Linux. It sorts the information so you see the most common options first. Seldom used options aren’t even listed. And you get useful practical examples of how to use specific options.

tldr is an extremely useful utility. It’s a great way of learning the key commands as quickly as possible.

Having separate individuals updating a program’s man page and the tldr resource can mean there are inconsistencies between the two resources.

Website: tldr.sh
Support: GitHub Code Repository
Developer: Many individuals
License: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY)

tldr is written in Markdown. Learn Markdown with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Installation
Page 2 – In Operation
Page 3 – Summary


Complete list of articles in this series:

Excellent Utilities
tmuxA terminal multiplexer that offers a massive boost to your workflow
lnavAdvanced log file viewer for the small-scale; great for troubleshooting
PaperworkDesigned to simplify the management of your paperwork
AbricotineMarkdown editor with inline preview functionality
mdlessFormatted and highlighted view of Markdown files
fkillKill processes quick and easy
TuskAn unofficial Evernote client with bags of potential
UlauncherSublime application launcher
McFlyNavigate through your bash shell history
LanguageToolStyle and grammar checker for 30+ languages
pecoSimple interactive filtering tool that's remarkably useful
Liquid PromptAdaptive prompt for Bash & Zsh
AnanicyShell daemon created to manage processes’ IO and CPU priorities
cheat.shCommunity driven unified cheat sheet
ripgrepRecursively search directories for a regex pattern
exaA turbo-charged alternative to the venerable ls command
OCRmyPDFAdd OCR text layer to scanned PDFs
WatsonTrack the time spent on projects
fontpreviewQuickly search and preview fonts
fdWonderful alternative to the venerable find
scrcpyDisplay and control Android devices
dufDisk usage utility with more polished presentation than the classic df
tldrSimplified and community-driven man pages
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4 comments

  1. I love tldr. Somewhat surprised it wasn’t included earlier. I found it indispensable when I was starting out. The manual pages are find when you know what you are doing but are a pretty lame introduction.

  2. I always recommend my students consult tldr and cheat.sh before exploring other documentation. Personally I prefer tealdeer, it’s written in Rust, and probably the quickest implementation.

    1. I think you are referring to tealdeer. Like tldr, neither needs a network connection to use it (except to update the cache). I often have an unreliable net connection. the tools get round this issue, I can still keep learning

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