Linux for Starters: Your Guide to Linux – Getting Help – Part 11

Last Updated on May 22, 2022

Other commands

There are other commands already available at your fingertips.


The whatis command displays one-line manual page descriptions. whatis searches the manual page names and displays the manual page descriptions of any name matched.

Linux for Starters - whatis


Each manual page has a short description available within it. apropos searches the descriptions for instances of keyword. keyword is usually a regular expression, as if (-r) was used, or may contain wildcards (-w), or match the exact keyword (-e).

Linux for Starters - apropos


info is a program for reading documentation of GNU programs. Some project provide online manuals in the Info format.

Linux for Starters - info

Use the command options -h or --help

If you need help on a command or program, try entering the command followed by -h or --help. For example, here’s the help from typing at a shell:

$ gimp -h

Linux for Starter - gimp help

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Ubuntu Desktop Guide
Page 2 – Man Pages
Page 3 – tldr
Page 4 – Other commands: whatis, apropos, info, command options

All articles in this series:

Linux For Starters: Your Guide to Linux
1What is Linux? Why use Linux? What do I need?
2Choose a Linux distribution meeting your specific needs and requirements.
3Make a bootable Ubuntu USB stick in Windows.
4We show you how to install Ubuntu 21.04 on your hard disk.
5Things to do after installing Ubuntu.
6Navigating your way around the Desktop.
7Updating the system, install new software.
8Open source replacements for proprietary Windows desktop software.
9Get started with the power and flexibility of the terminal.
10We cover the basics of files and permissions.
11Getting help from your system.
12Learn all about the file system.
13Manipulating files from the shell.
14Maintain your system with these simple tips.
15Managing users on your system.
16Explore different desktops to GNOME 3.
17Gaming on Linux.
18Protect your privacy with this guide.
19Access the Windows desktop from Linux using a remote desktop client.
20Set up a virtual machine running Ubuntu as the host and openSUSE as the guest.
21Wine lets you run Windows programs on Linux without emulation.
22Extend your GNOME desktop with extensions and themes.
XUseful Linux commands.
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2 years ago

tldr is definitely worth installing. The man pages are often impenetrable to me. As you say Steve, listing every option without any order of importance is baffling to a beginner.

it has over 33,000 stars on GitHub

Jumbo Cod
Jumbo Cod
2 years ago

I suggest you take a look at explainshell

2 years ago
Reply to  Jumbo Cod

Great call