RTFM - Read The F*cking Manual

RTFM - Read The F*cking Manual

Some alternatives for reading (and to have) the documentations and manpages before to Google it.

Esli Silva
·Sep 28, 2022·

2 min read

Subscribe to my newsletter and never miss my upcoming articles

Play this article

Table of contents

  • Linux manpages
  • Developers' offline documentation

In an urgency, Google will solve your question faster about command or any component from an API per example (and that's the goal, right!) - or another search engine (I'm migrating to brave search and DuckDuckGo), or even, why go to them when the StackOverflow has its search bar - and whether you like it or not, you'll land on StackOverflow.

The purpose of this post is to show alternatives (or add-ons) to the documentation and manuals.

Linux manpages

manpages ;-)

  • Consult the manpages.

No secrets, correct?

But here are some apps that can help you faster:

TLDR

TLDR (tldr-pages) is a collaborative documentation project that aims to be more straightforward than manpages.

TLDR is an abbreviation for "too long; didn't read".

In addition to the CLI, it is possible to install a graphical client, a Telegram bot, or a web interface (several alternatives). One of them is through the address: tldr.finzzz.net

And even browser extensions: github.com/piraces/tldr-extension-browser

While man unzip will return over 300 lines!

manpages-unzip.png

tldr unzip will (probably) return what you were looking for:

tldr-unzip.png

Cheat

Cheat is very similar and an alternative to TL;DR.

With a simple structure made with Go (instead of Nodejs like TLDR)

The most command will colour the output of the man command.

most is a paging program where in addition to displaying standard texts, it can read binary and ASCII character files. The most exciting thing is that it recognizes sequences of characters that, when shown, create some effect. It's worth reading a little more about it and its use, but we'll limit ourselves to colouring the Linux manpages.

apt-get install most

Then, open a terminal using any user's account and configure most as the utility to be used by the man command to show the manuals:

export MANPAGER="/usr/bin/most -s"

To fix the configuration, after installing most, insert the line below into your .bashrc file (hidden file in your user's home):

export MANPAGER="/usr/bin/most -s"

Developers' offline documentation

DevDoc

Available app, mobile or website.

Just choose the documentation you want offline and download it! ;-)

Just save it as an "App" in your browser. Some package managers have it for installation (I recommend flatpak).

devdoc.png

Zeal

There's only the app for installation (no web or mobile version). After installation, you will have to download the documentation that you choose to have offline (choose it in the menu), in addition to the possibility of creating your own.

zealdocs.png

Did you find this article valuable?

Support Esli Silva by becoming a sponsor. Any amount is appreciated!

See recent sponsors Learn more about Hashnode Sponsors