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
AbricotineMarkdown editor with inline preview functionality
AnanicyShell daemon created to manage processes’ IO and CPU priorities
brootNext gen tree explorer and customizable launcher
cheat.shCommunity driven unified cheat sheet
crocSecurely transfer files and folders from the command-line
DeskreenLive streaming your desktop to a web browser
dufDisk usage utility with more polished presentation than the classic df
exaA turbo-charged alternative to the venerable ls command
Extension ManagerBrowse, install and manage GNOME Shell Extensions
fdWonderful alternative to the venerable find
fkillKill processes quick and easy
fontpreviewQuickly search and preview fonts
horcruxFile splitter with encryption and redundancy
LanguageToolStyle and grammar checker for 30+ languages
Liquid PromptAdaptive prompt for Bash & Zsh
lnavAdvanced log file viewer for the small-scale; great for troubleshooting
lsdLike exa, lsd is a turbo-charged alternative to ls
McFlyNavigate through your bash shell history
mdlessFormatted and highlighted view of Markdown files
OCRmyPDFAdd OCR text layer to scanned PDFs
PaperworkDesigned to simplify the management of your paperwork
PDF Mix ToolPerform common editing operations on PDF files
pecoSimple interactive filtering tool that's remarkably useful
ripgrepRecursively search directories for a regex pattern
scrcpyDisplay and control Android devices
tldrSimplified and community-driven man pages
tmuxA terminal multiplexer that offers a massive boost to your workflow
TuskAn unofficial Evernote client with bags of potential
UlauncherSublime application launcher
WatsonTrack the time spent on projects
Whoogle SearchSelf-hosted and privacy-focused metasearch engine
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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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