Be Informed And Earn: TLDR Pages is the Best Alternative to “Linux Man” (Manual) Pages

Thursday, November 30, 2017

TLDR Pages is the Best Alternative to “Linux Man” (Manual) Pages

One of the things I find to be very challenging in using Linux is having to remember all the command prompts off-head. When I first started using Kali, I literally made a little journal of every command I could lay my hands on as well as their functions. In other to address this issue of Linux commands terminal and all the rest that comes with it, Canonical launched what they call Ubuntu Tutorials to help users get a better understanding and remembering commands in Linux and several Linux Distros. 
To further solve this same problem, Manual Pages (Man for short) was created, it was first made available in English, but to be frank, it can be a little overwhelming to grasp sometimes, because it contains tons of in-depth information about different Linux commands, which sometimes, if you’re looking for just basic information on a particular command, can also become overwhelming. So to solve this issue, TLDR pages were created.

What are TLDR pages? and Why TLDR pages?

To answer your first question, TLDR pages is a collection of a collection of simplified and community-driven man pages for Linux/Unix ecosystem. It was created with the main objective of easing the use man pages with practical examples. TLDR stands for Too Long Didn’t Read and personally, I think the people behind this should be given a medal because many times I get bored to read tutorials especially when they are long. So TLDR just made things easier now, and I no longer have to get bored while reading up a few things about Linux or commands, perhaps a simple illustration in the image below will help you get the full gist

The image you see above is a comparison between the traditional  Linux man page, and as you can see, it extends over 1,000 lines which you will agree with me can get boring to read sometimes. It’s an archiving utility that’s often combined with a compression method like bzip or gzip. Take a look at its man page
Click on the image to enlarge

And below the man page is the TLDR pages which lets you simply take a glance at the command and see how it actually works, straight and simple. Tar’s TLDR page simply looks like this and comes with some handy examples of the most common tasks you can complete with this utility.

I also did a tldr command for your regular apt and was overwhelmed with how surprised short, simple and precise the results were. 
You too can go ahead and make this comparison yourself against tldr apt and manpage apt. And having shown you how TLDR works and makes your use of Linux easier, I am betting you're already wanting you how to install it on your Linux-based operating system and fire it up.

How to Install TLDR Pages on Linux?

Just like in the case of getting Coinmon, you will have to first install the latest Noje.js by pulling up your terminal and running this command sudo apt-get install nodejs followed by sudo apt-get install npm.

And in any case your machine runs on any other Distro besides Debian, Ubuntu, or Ubuntu’s derivatives, you can use yum, dnf, or pacman package manager, in place of sudo.

Then after getting Node.js, you can go ahead and install TLDR by running this command sudo npm install -g tldr then update its cache before making the first use by running this command tldr --update.

Congratulations, you have successfully installed TLDR pages, and to pull up any command and its details, just type in tldr <commandname> in your terminal. For instance tldr kill or tldr apt, or tldr sudo, tldr tar and so on and so forth. You can also run tldr help which I am sure as a Linux user you already know what it will do.

It doesn't stop there, TLDR (stands for Too Long Didn’t Read) is also mobile and can be used on top mobile OS like Android, iOS, maybe Librem 5 Linux phone when it's launched. 
TLDR web version
To use TLDR web version, visit from your Android or iOS phone and perform the required search operation. And if you get tired of using the web version, you can go ahead and either the Android or iOS apps depending on the phone you are using and keep learning new commands on the go.

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