Thursday, July 24, 2014

Customizing the UNIX User Environment - Part 5 - Using the GNU info system - Part 1

Customizing the UNIX User Environment


Using the GNU info system


Info system structure


The info reader program allows you to read help documentation formatted using the texinfo system.

The info reader program is one of several open source system tools developed by the GNU project to replace proprietary UNIX software.

Most of the software developed as part of the GNU project is documented by using the texinfo system in texinfo files.


Texinfo files provide a single source from which to generate both online and print documentation


For programs produced by the GNU project, info pages may provide more complete documentation than man pages

To invoke the info system, you type info at the shell prompt and press Enter.


Each info page provides information in the form of nodes - or topics. Each node may have several child nodes, which describe subtopics of the node.


The titles of child nodes are listed in a menu with in the parent node, and you need to issue specific info commands to move to one of the child nodes.


If you want to move to the binary utilities node, for example, you press M to invoke the menu prompt.

Then you type binutils and you press Enter.

The binary utilities node opens. The info page contains a chain of Next and Previous pointers that provide a link between all the children of a parent node.


Any child node links to its parent node using the Up pointer.

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