The most comprehensive documentation on FreeBSD is in the form
of manual pages. Nearly every program on the system comes with
a short reference manual explaining the basic operation and
available arguments. These manuals can be viewed using
command is the name of the
command to learn about. For example, to learn more about
Manual pages are divided into sections which represent the type of topic. In FreeBSD, the following sections are available:
System calls and error numbers.
Functions in the C libraries.
Games and other diversions.
System maintenance and operation commands.
System kernel interfaces.
In some cases, the same topic may appear in more than one
section of the online manual. For example, there is a
chmod user command and a
chmod() system call. To tell man(1)
which section to display, specify the section number:
man 1 chmod
This will display the manual page for the user command chmod(1). References to a particular section of the online manual are traditionally placed in parenthesis in written documentation, so chmod(1) refers to the user command and chmod(2) refers to the system call.
If the name of the manual page is unknown, use
-k to search for keywords in the manual page
This command displays a list of commands that have the keyword “mail” in their descriptions. This is equivalent to using apropos(1).
To read the descriptions for all of the commands in
man -f * | more
whatis * |more
FreeBSD includes several applications and utilities produced
by the Free Software Foundation (FSF). In addition to manual
pages, these programs may include hypertext documents called
info files. These can be viewed using
info(1) or, if editors/emacs is
installed, the info mode of
To use info(1), type:
For a brief introduction, type
a quick command reference, type