Alan Hargreaves' Blog

The ramblings of an Australian SaND TSC* Principal Field Technologist

Those values in parenthesis

Having spent the last 21 years of my life working with UNIXTM, I find I start to take some conventions for granted. One of those things is that whenever I recommend a command or reference something that has a man page entry, I include the man page reference after it in parenthesis. For example:

df (1M)
ufs (7FS)

Some feedback that I am getting from the Solution Centre folks who pass escalations to us is that quite a few people are not familiar with this convention, and attempt to use the man page reference as the argument to the command, with the predictable results of it not working, usually the shell complaining about the parenthesis.

csh% df (1M)
Badly placed ()'s
sh$ df (1M)
syntax error: `df' unexpected
ksh$ df (1M)
ksh: syntax error: `(' unexpected

All that it means is that for further information on this command see the man page in the section referenced. In the preceeding example for df, you would look in section 1M.

$ man -s1M df
Reformatting page.  Please Wait... done
System Administration Commands                             df(1M)
NAME
df - displays number of free disk blocks and files
...
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Written by Alan

June 16, 2004 at 11:00 pm

Posted in General

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