RTFM function

rtfm() { help $@ || man $@ || $BROWSER "http://www.google.com/search?q=$@"; }

By: hunterm
2011-01-05 02:53:38

5 Alternatives + Submit Alt

  • This microscript looks up a man page for each word possible, and if the correct page is not found, uses w3m and Google's "I'm feeling lucky" to output a first possible result. This script was made as a result of an idea on a popular Linux forum, where users often send other people to RTFM by saying something like "man backup" or "man ubuntu one". To make this script replace the usual man command, save it as ".man.sh" in your home folder and add the following string to the end of your .bashrc file: alias man='~/.man.sh' Show Sample Output

    /usr/bin/man $* || w3m -dump http://google.com/search?q="$*"\&btnI | less
    d1337r · 2010-10-05 13:51:39 0
  • Some commands have more information on 'info' than in the man pages

    rtfm() { help $@ || info $@ || man $@ || $BROWSER "http://www.google.com/search?q=$@"; }
    seattlegaucho · 2011-01-05 21:26:51 2
  • Sometimes you don't have man pages only '-h' or '--help'.

    rtfm() { help $@ || $@ -h || $@ --help || man $@ || $BROWSER "http://www.google.com/search?q=$@"; }
    karol · 2011-01-05 17:36:26 0
  • Simple edit to work for OSX. Now just add this to your ~/.profile and `source ~/.profile`

    rtfm() { help $@ || man $@ || open "http://www.google.com/search?q=$@"; }
    vaporub · 2011-01-26 06:23:42 1
  • Same as the other rtfm's, but using the more correct xdg-open instead of $BROWSER. I can't find a way to open info only if the term exists, so it stays out of my version.

    rtfm() { help $@ || man $@ || xdg-open "http://www.google.com/search?q=$@"; }
    KlfJoat · 2014-04-25 04:17:03 1

What Others Think

That is so beautiful! You could add info $@ in there somewhere, too, perhaps with a conditional so it only loads info pages in the info reader and man pages in man: [[ -f /usr/share/info/$@.info* ]] && info $@
dennisw · 563 weeks and 2 days ago
If encountered a problem with the help command. It matches patterns not complete commands. Thus if I call `rtfm tr` it shows the help for the `trap` command which is clearly not what I wanted. Any suggestions?
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MichaelRose · 27 weeks and 1 day ago

What do you think?

Any thoughts on this command? Does it work on your machine? Can you do the same thing with only 14 characters?

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