Those values in parenthesis
By Alan Hargreaves-Oracle on Jun 17, 2004
Having spent the last 21 years of my life working with UNIXTM, I find I start to take some conventions for granted. One of those things is that whenever I recommend a command or reference something that has a man page entry, I include the man page reference after it in parenthesis. For example:
df (1M) ufs (7FS)
Some feedback that I am getting from the Solution Centre folks who pass escalations to us is that quite a few people are not familiar with this convention, and attempt to use the man page reference as the argument to the command, with the predictable results of it not working, usually the shell complaining about the parenthesis.
csh% df (1M) Badly placed ()'s sh$ df (1M) syntax error: `df' unexpected ksh$ df (1M) ksh: syntax error: `(' unexpected
All that it means is that for further information on this command see the man page in the section referenced. In the preceeding example for df, you would look in section 1M.
$ man -s1M df Reformatting page. Please Wait... done System Administration Commands df(1M) NAME df - displays number of free disk blocks and files ...