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Unix - Frequently Asked Questions (1/7) [Frequent posting]
Section - When someone refers to 'rn(1)' ... the number in parentheses mean?

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1.2)  When someone refers to 'rn(1)' or 'ctime(3)', what does
      the number in parentheses mean?

      It looks like some sort of function call, but it isn't.  These
      numbers refer to the section of the "Unix manual" where the
      appropriate documentation can be found.  You could type
      "man 3 ctime" to look up the manual page for "ctime" in section 3
      of the manual.

      The traditional manual sections are:

        1       User-level  commands
        2       System calls
        3       Library functions
        4       Devices and device drivers
        5       File formats
        6       Games
        7       Various miscellaneous stuff - macro packages etc.
        8       System maintenance and operation commands

      Some Unix versions use non-numeric section names.  For instance,
      Xenix uses "C" for commands and "S" for functions.  Some newer
      versions of Unix require "man -s# title" instead of "man # title".

      Each section has an introduction, which you can read with "man #
      intro" where # is the section number.

      Sometimes the number is necessary to differentiate between a
      command and a library routine or system call of the same name.
      For instance, your system may have "time(1)", a manual page about
      the 'time' command for timing programs, and also "time(3)", a
      manual page about the 'time' subroutine for determining the
      current time.  You can use "man 1 time" or "man 3 time" to
      specify which "time" man page you're interested in.

      You'll often find other sections for local programs or even
      subsections of the sections above - Ultrix has sections 3m, 3n,
      3x and 3yp among others.

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Top Document: Unix - Frequently Asked Questions (1/7) [Frequent posting]
Previous Document: Who helped you put this list together?
Next Document: What does {some strange unix command name} stand for?

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:12 PM