Linux Man Page Masterclass

person icon Jason Cannon

Linux Man Page Masterclass

Master the built-in help and documentation system for Mac, Unix, and Linux.

updated on icon Updated on Dec, 2023

language icon Language - English

person icon Jason Cannon

architecture icon IT & Software,Operating Systems & Servers,Linux Administration

Lectures -14

Quizzes -6

Duration -38 mins


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Course Description

Welcome to this course on man pages, where you'll learn the ins and outs of the built-in help and documentation system found on Mac, Unix, and Linux-based operating systems.

Meet Your Instructor

Hello, My name is Jason Cannon, and I'm the author of several best-selling Linux books including, Linux for Beginners, Linux Succinctly, and Command Line Kung Fu. I've also created dozens of highly rated courses that have helped people just like you level-up their careers by teaching them valuable, in-demand skills.

I've been using man pages since the 1990s, and I've packed all of that valuable experience into this course for you.

What You'll Be Able To Do After This Course

After completing this course, you'll never have to Google what command to use or how to use a given command again. You'll be able to find the correct command you need, determine the exact options to use, and confidently know what the command will do before you run it. And you'll be able to do all this without having to dig through search results or random forum posts that contain conflicting information. You'll finally be self-sufficient when it comes to using the command line.

Course Components

At the beginning of the course, you'll learn the absolute essential basics, such as how to navigate individual man pages as well as how to navigate the entire man page system.

From there, you'll learn all the conventions used in man pages. If you don't know these conventions, trying to decipher a man page can be overwhelming and the documentation will appear to be filled with random punctuation. However, every single one of those seemingly random characters has a very specific meaning, and you'll learn all of them in detail.

Next, you’ll learn about order for command line options, and when it matters. Plus, you'll learn the proper way to combine command line options and how to decipher any Linux, Mac, or Unix command you see.

Of course, you'll put what you've learned to use by looking at actual man pages and by crafting commands based on what you find in those man pages.

You'll also learn the rules for writing man pages, including what components, sections, and elements to include. You can use this as a guide if you ever need or want to write documentation for any commands or scripts that you create.

Finally, you'll learn how to get help for commands that don't have their own dedicated man pages.

In short, when you complete this course, you'll be a man-page expert.

This Course Is For You...

This course was designed for anyone who wants to become self-sufficient when using the command line on Mac, Unix, or Linux systems.

This course is for you:

  • If you're tired of searching for the right command for your specific situation, only to be left even more confused than when you started.

  • Or if you've ever wondered what a command will do when you run it.

  • Or worse still, if you've ever been scared to execute a command out of fear of breaking something.

If you work on air-gapped systems or on systems with limited or no internet connectivity, this course is absolutely essential.

Whether you're new to the command line, a system administrator, a security engineer, or a programmer, this course is for you.

Enroll Now!

So, if you're tired of being afraid of the command line or simply want to improve your skills and confidence at the command line, enroll now, and I'll see you in the course!

Who this course is for:

  • Anyone who works at the command line on Linux, Unix, or Mac operating systems.
  • Anyone who wants to become self-sufficient when using the command line on Linux, Unix, or Mac systems.
  • System Administrators
  • Security Engineers
  • Programmers and Developers
  • Those who are new to the command line.


What will you learn in this course:

  • How to search through man pages to find the help (or command) you’re looking for.

  • How to decipher all the man page conventions such as underlined words, options enclosed in brackets, and more.

  • What to do when a man doesn’t work. (You'll the “other” man command.)

  • How to mix and match multiple options (and option types) to make the command do exactly what you want.


What are the prerequisites for this course?

  • No experience is required. You will learn everything you need to know about man pages in this course.

Linux Man Page Masterclass


Check out the detailed breakdown of what’s inside the course

Man Pages
14 Lectures
  • play icon Navigating Man Pages 07:57 07:57
  • play icon Navigation Quiz
  • play icon Possible future question related to Navigation
  • play icon Man Page Conventions 02:09 02:09
  • play icon Man Page Conventions Quiz
  • play icon Man Page Example: Decoding an Actual Man Page 14:07 14:07
  • play icon Man Page Example Quiz
  • play icon Man Page Sections 04:05 04:05
  • play icon Man Page Sections Quiz
  • play icon Conventions for Writing Linux Man Page (How to Write a Man Page) 02:00 02:00
  • play icon Writing Man Pages Quiz
  • play icon Getting Help for Shell Builtin Commands (The help and type Commands) 04:24 04:24
  • play icon Builtins Quiz
  • play icon Review 03:38 03:38

Instructor Details

Jason Cannon

Jason Cannon

Professional system administrator, consultant, and author.

Jason started his career as a Unix and Linux System Engineer in 1999. Since that time he has utilized his Linux skills at companies such as Xerox, UPS, Hewlett-Packard, and Amazon.com. Additionally, he has acted as a technical consultant and independent contractor for small businesses and Fortune 500 companies.

Jason has professional experience with CentOS, RedHat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, and Ubuntu. He has used several Linux distributions on personal projects including Debian, Slackware, CrunchBang, and others. In addition to Linux, Jason has experience supporting proprietary Unix operating systems including AIX, HP-UX, and Solaris.

He enjoys teaching others how to use and exploit the power of the Linux operating system. He is also the author of the books "Linux for Beginners" and "Command Line Kung Fu."

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