Every Linux user must be familiar with the command ‘man’. The command is used to display instructions on the usage of a command/ utility. It is normally referred to as ‘man pages’ and they have been of great help while using command line.

In Unix-like systems, most command line help comes from man pages which are a standard documentation for every unix-like systems. Man pages contain all command line functions, libraries, system calls, formal standards and conventions and they correspond to online manuals. Man pages are extensive and they contain detailed information on how to use a command. However, most users would prefer to search commands online than use man pages because sometimes they contain lengthy explanations which discourages user from using them.

TLDR, short for ‘too long, didn’t read’ are a summarized usage examples of commands for different operating systems. With TLDR, man pages are summarized to produce easy to understand documents with the use of practical examples.

How To Install TLDR on Linux Systems

In this guide we are going to be looking at hoe to install and use tldr in Ubuntu and CentOS systems. TLDR installation requires NPM and Nodejs. We will first install these two components in our systems.

To install NPM and NodeJS on Ubuntu 20.04, run the below command:

sudo apt update
sudo apt-get -y install nodejs npm

On CentOS, run the below commands to install NPM and NodeJS.

sudo yum install epel-release -y
sudo yum install nodejs npm

Now install tldr on Ubuntu and CentOS systems by running the below command:

sudo npm install -g tldr

You can also install tldr with snap on Ubuntu as below:

sudo snap install tldr

TLDR Usage Examples

At this time, TLDR has been successfully installed on your Linux systems. The syntax for getting help with tldr is as shown below:

$ tldr <command>

Where you replace <command> with the actual utility or command which you want to use.

Man page for ‘ls’ command

$ tldr ls
ls 

 List directory contents. 

 - List files one per line: 
   ls -1 

 - List all files, including hidden files: 
   ls -a 

 - List all files, with trailing / added to directory names: 
   ls -F 

 - Long format list (permissions, ownership, size and modification date) of all files: 
   ls -la 

 - Long format list with size displayed using human readable units (KB, MB, GB): 
   ls -lh 

 - Long format list sorted by size (descending): 
   ls -lS 

 - Long format list of all files, sorted by modification date (oldest first): 
   ls -ltr

Man page for ‘curl’ command

$ tldr curl 

 curl 

 Transfers data from or to a server. 
 Supports most protocols, including HTTP, FTP, and POP3. 
 More information: https://curl.haxx.se. 

 - Download the contents of an URL to a file: 
   curl http://example.com -o filename 

 - Download a file, saving the output under the filename indicated by the URL: 
   curl -O http://example.com/filename 

 - Download a file, following [L]ocation redirects, and automatically [C]ontinuing (resuming) a previous file transfer: 
   curl -O -L -C - http://example.com/filename 

 - Send form-encoded data (POST request of type application/x-www-form-urlencoded). Use -d @file_name or -d @'-' to read from STDIN: 
   curl -d 'name=bob' http://example.com/form 

 - Send a request with an extra header, using a custom HTTP method: 
   curl -H 'X-My-Header: 123' -X PUT http://example.com 

 - Send data in JSON format, specifying the appropriate content-type header: 
   curl -d '{"name":"bob"}' -H 'Content-Type: application/json' http://example.com/users/1234 

 - Pass a user name and password for server authentication: 
   curl -u myusername:mypassword http://example.com 

 - Pass client certificate and key for a resource, skipping certificate validation: 
   curl --cert client.pem --key key.pem --insecure https://example.com

To list all the commands for a specific platform, use -l option.

$ tldr -l
7z, 7za, 7zr, a2disconf, a2dismod, a2dissite, a2enconf, a2enmod, a2ensite, a2query, aapt, ab, abduco, ac, ack, acpi, act, adb, adb-install, adb-reverse, adb-shell, add-apt-repository, addpart, addr2line, adduser, adguardhome, ag, airpaste, ajson, alacritty, alex, alias, alpine, amass, amass-db, amass-enum, amass-intel, amass-track, amass-viz, amixer, androguard, ansible, ansible-doc, ansible-galaxy, ansible-playbook, ansible-pull, ansible-vault, ansiweather, ant, apache2ctl, apg, apk, apktool, aplay, apm, apport-bug, apropos, apt, apt-add-repository, apt-cache, apt-file, apt-get, apt-key, apt-mark, aptitude, ar, arc, arch, archey, archlinux-java, arecord, aria2, aria2c, arithmetic, ark, arp, arp-scan, arping, as, asar, ascii, asciinema, asdf, aspell, assimp, asterisk, astronomer, astyle, at, atom, atoum, atq, atrm, auracle, authconfig, autoflake, autojump, autorandr, autossh, avahi-browse, avrdude, awk, aws, aws-ec2, aws-glue, aws-google-auth, aws-iam, aws-kinesis, aws-lambda, aws-quicksight, aws-s3, aws-vault, awslogs, axel, az, b2sum, babel, badblocks, balena, banner, base32, base64, basename, bash, bashmarks, bastet, bat, batch, bc, beanstalkd, bedtools, beep, behat, berks, betterlockscreen, bg, binwalk, bison, bitcoin-cli, bitwise, black, blackfire, blender, blkdiscard, blkid, bluetoothctl, bmaptool, bmon, boot, borg, bosh, bower, box, bpftrace, bpytop, brctl, brew, browser-sync, btm, btrfs, buku, bundle, bup, buzzphrase, bw, bzip2, c99, cabal, cake, cal, calc, calcurse, calendar, calibre-server, calibredb, carbon-now, cargo, cargo-build, cargo-clippy, cargo-doc, cargo-rustc, cargo-test, case, cat, cd, cdk, ceph, certbot, cewl, cf, cfdisk, chage, chars, chattr, chcon, chcpu, cheat, check-support-status, chezmoi, chfn, chgrp, chisel, chkconfig, chmod, chown, chroma, chromium, chroot, chsh, cksum, clamav, clamscan, clang, clang-format, clear, clementine, cloc, clockwork-cli, cloudflared, cmake, cmark, cmatrix, cmp, cmus, code, coffee, collectd, colordiff, colrm, column, comm, command, compare, compgen, complete, compose, composer, conda, conky, consul, consul-kv, convert, convmv, copyq, cordova, cotton, couchdb, cowsay, cp, cpdf, cpio, cppcheck, cppclean, cpufreq-aperf, cpufreq-info, cpufreq-set, cpuid, cpulimit, cradle, cradle deploy, cradle elastic, cradle install, cradle package, cradle sql, cradle-deploy, cradle-elastic, cradle-install, cradle-package, cradle-sql, create_ap, croc, crontab, crunch, cryfs, cryptsetup, crystal, csc, csplit, csslint, csvclean, csvcut, csvformat, csvgrep, csvkit, csvlook, csvpy, csvsort, csvsql, csvstat, csvtool, ctags, ctest, ctr, ctrlaltdel, curl, cut, daemonize, darkhttpd, dash, datamash, date, dbus-daemon, dc, dcfldd, dcg, dd, ddrescue, debchange, debman, debugfs, debuild, decaffeinate, deemix, delta, deluge, deluge-console, deluged, deluser, deno, dep, detox, dexdump, dexter, df, dfc, dget, dhclient, dhcpwn, diff, diff3, diffoscope, diffstat, dig, dircolors, direnv, dirname, dirs, dirsearch, disown, dive, django-admin, dmenu, dmesg, dmidecode, dnf, dnsrecon, do-release-upgrade, doas, docker, docker-build, docker-compose, docker-containers, docker-exec, docker-images, docker-inspect, docker-logs, docker-machine, docker-network, docker-ps, docker-rmi, docker-run, docker-save, docker-secret, docker-service, docker-start, docker-swarm, docker-system, dockerd, dokku, dos2unix, dot, dotnet, dotnet-build, dotnet-publish, dotnet-restore, doxygen, dpkg, dpkg-deb, dpkg-query, drill, drupal, drupal-check, drush, dstat, du, dua, dumpe2fs, dunstify, duperemove, duplicity, dvc, dvc-add, dvc-checkout, dvc-commit, dvc-config, dvc-dag, dvc-destroy, dvc-diff, dvc-fetch, dvc-freeze, dvc-gc, dvc-init, dvc-unfreeze, e2freefrag, e2fsck, e2image, e2label, e4defrag, ebook-convert, ebuild, echo, ect, ed, edit, edquota, efibootmgr, eix, eject, electron-packager, electrum, elinks, elixir, elm, emacs, emacsclient, ember, emerge, emulator, enca, enscript, entr, enum4linux, env, envoy, envsubst, equery, erl, eslint, espeak, etckeeper, ethtool, eva, eval, evil-winrm, exa, exec, exif, exiftool, exit, exiv2, expand, expect, export, expose, expr, extrace, extundelete, eyeD3, f3fix, f3probe, f3read, f3write, f5fpc, factor, fail2ban-client, faketime, fallocate, false, fastboot, fatlabel, fc, fc-cache, fc-list, fc-match, fc-pattern, fcrackzip, fd, fdisk, fdroid, fdroidcl, fdupes, feedreader, feh, ffmpeg, ffprobe, ffsend, fg, fgrep, figlet, file, file-rename, filefrag, fin, find, findfs, findmnt, finger, firebase, firefox, firejail, firewall-cmd, fish, fisher, fkill, flac, flameshot, flash, flask, flatpak, flex, fls, flutter, fly, fmt, fnm, fold, for, foreman, forever, fortune, fossa, fping, free, fsck, fselect, fstrim, fswatch, fswebcam, ftp, fuck, func, fuser, fzf, g++, gatsby, gcal, gcalcli, gcc, gcloud, gcov, gdalbuildvrt, gdb, gdrive, gedit, gem, genie, genkernel, getent, getfacl, geth, gh, gh-auth, gh-config, gh-gist, gh-issue, gh-pr, gh-release, gh-repo, ghc, ghci, ghdl, ghost, gibo, gifsicle, gist, git, git-add, git-am, git-annex, git-apply, git-archive, git-bisect, git-blame, git-branch, git-bundle, git-cat-file, git-check-ignore, git-checkout, git-cherry, git-cherry-pick, git-clean, git-clone, git-commit, git-config, git-describe, git-diff, git-difftool, git-fetch, git-flow, git-format-patch, git-fsck, git-gc, git-grep, git-help, git-ignore, git-imerge, git-init, git-instaweb, git-lfs, git-log, git-ls-files, git-ls-remote, git-ls-tree, git- 

To list all supported commands in the cache, we use -a option.

$ tldr -a
7z, 7za, 7zr, GetFileInfo, LICENSE, a2disconf, a2dismod, a2dissite, a2enconf, a2enmod, a2ensite, a2query, aapt, ab, abduco, ac, ack, acpi, act, adb, adb-install, adb-reverse, adb-shell, add-apt-repository, addpart, addr2line, adduser, adguardhome, afinfo, afplay, ag, airpaste, airport, ajson, alacritty, alex, alias, alpine, amass, amass-db, amass-enum, amass-intel, amass-track, amass-viz, amixer, androguard, ansible, ansible-doc, ansible-galaxy, ansible-playbook, ansible-pull, ansible-vault, ansiweather, ant, apache2ctl, apachectl, apg, apk, apktool, aplay, apm, apport-bug, apropos, apt, apt-add-repository, apt-cache, apt-file, apt-get, apt-key, apt-mark, aptitude, ar, arc, arch, archey, archlinux-java, arecord, aria2, aria2c, arithmetic, ark, arp, arp-scan, arping, as, asar, ascii, asciinema, asdf, aspell, asr, assimp, assoc, asterisk, astronomer, astyle, at, atom, atoum, atq, atrm, attrib, auracle, authconfig, autoflake, autojump, autorandr, autossh, avahi-browse, avrdude, awk, aws, aws-ec2, aws-glue, aws-google-auth, aws-iam, aws-kinesis, aws-lambda, aws-quicksight, aws-s3, aws-vault, awslogs, axel, az, azcopy, b2sum, babel, badblocks, balena, banner, base32, base64, basename, bash, bashmarks, bastet, bat, batch, bc, beanstalkd, bedtools, beep, behat, berks, betterlockscreen, bg, binwalk, bison, bitcoin-cli, bitwise, black, blackfire, blender, bless, blkdiscard, blkid, bluetoothctl, bmaptool, bmon, boot, borg, bosh, bower, box, bpftrace, bpytop, brctl, brew, brew-bundle, brew-cask, brew-mas, brightness, browser-sync, btm, btrfs, buku, bundle, bup, buzzphrase, bw, bzip2, c99, cabal, caffeinate, cake, cal, calc, calcurse, calendar, calibre-server, calibredb, carbon-now, cargo, cargo-build, cargo-clippy, cargo-doc, cargo-rustc, cargo-test, carthage, case, cat, cd, cdk, ceph, certbot, cewl, cf, cfdisk, chage, chars, chattr, chcon, chcpu, cheat, check-support-status, chezmoi, chflags, chfn, chgrp, chisel, chkconfig, chkdsk, chmod, choco, choco-apikey, choco-feature, choco-info, choco-install, choco-list, choco-new, choco-outdated, choco-pack, choco-pin, choco-search, choco-source, choco-uninstall, choco-upgrade, choice, chown, chroma, chromium, chroot, chsh, cipher, cksum, clamav, clamscan, clang, clang-format, clear, clementine, clip, cloc, clockwork-cli, cloudflared, cls, cmake, cmark, cmatrix, cmd, cmp, cmstp, cmus, code, codesign, coffee, collectd, color, colordiff, colrm, column, comm, command, comp, compare, compgen, complete, compose, composer, conda, conky, consul, consul-kv, convert, convmv, copyq, cordova, cotton, couchdb, cowsay, cp, cpdf, cpio, cppcheck, cppclean, cpufreq-aperf, cpufreq-info, cpufreq-set, cpuid, cpulimit, cradle, cradle deploy, cradle elastic, cradle install, cradle package, cradle sql, cradle-deploy, cradle-elastic, cradle-install, cradle-package, cradle-sql, create_ap, croc, crontab, crunch, cryfs, cryptsetup, crystal, csc, csplit, csshX, csslint, csvclean, csvcut, csvformat, csvgrep, csvkit, csvlook, csvpy, csvsort, csvsql, csvstat, csvtool, ctags, ctest, ctr, ctrlaltdel, curl, cut, daemonize, darkhttpd, dash, datamash, date, dbus-daemon, dc, dcfldd, dcg, dd, ddrescue, debchange, debman, debugfs, debuild, decaffeinate, deemix, defaults, del, delta, deluge, deluge-console, deluged, deluser, deno, dep, detox, devfsadm, dexdump, dexter, df, dfc, dget, dhclient, dhcpwn, diff, diff3, diffoscope, diffstat, dig, dir, dircolors, direnv, dirname, dirs, dirsearch, diskutil, disown, ditto, dive, django-admin, dmenu, dmesg, dmidecode, dnf, dnsrecon, do-release-upgrade, doas, docker, docker-build, docker-compose, docker-containers, docker-exec, docker-images, docker-inspect, docker-logs, docker-machine, docker-network, docker-ps, docker-rmi, docker-run, docker-save, docker-secret, docker-service, docker-start, docker-swarm, docker-system, dockerd, dokku, dos2unix, doskey, dot, dotnet, dotnet-build, dotnet-publish, dotnet-restore, doxygen, dpkg, dpkg-deb, dpkg-query, drill, driverquery, drupal, drupal-check, drush, drutil, dstat, du, dua, dumpe2fs, dunstify, duperemove, duplicity, duti, dvc, dvc-add, dvc-checkout, dvc-commit, dvc-config, dvc-dag, dvc-destroy, dvc-diff, dvc-fetch, dvc-freeze, dvc-gc, dvc-init, dvc-unfreeze, e2freefrag, e2fsck, e2image, e2label, e4defrag, ebook-convert, ebuild, echo, ect, ed, edit, edquota, efibootmgr, eix, eject, electron-packager, electrum, elinks, elixir, elm, emacs, emacsclient, ember, emerge, emulator, enca, enscript, entr, enum4linux, env, envoy, envsubst, equery, erl, eslint, espeak, etckeeper, ethtool, eva, eval, eventcreate, evil-winrm, exa, exec, exif, exiftool, exit, exiv2, expand, expect, explorer, export, expose, expr, extrace, extundelete, eyeD3, f3fix, f3probe, f3read, f3write, f5fpc, factor, fail2ban-client, faketime, fallocate, false, fastboot, fatlabel, fc, fc-cache, fc-list, fc-match, fc-pattern, fcrackzip, fd, fdesetup, fdisk, fdroid, fdroidcl, fdupes, feedreader, feh, ffmpeg, ffprobe, ffsend, fg, fgrep, figlet, file, file-rename, filefrag, fin, find, findfs, findmnt, findstr, finger, firebase, firefox, firejail, firewall-cmd, fish, fisher, fkill, flac, flameshot, flash, flask, flatpak, flex, fls, flutter, fly, fmt, fnm, fold, fondue, for, foreman, forever, forfiles, fortune, fossa, fping, free, fsck, fselect, fstrim, fswatch, fswebcam, ftp, ftype, fuck, func, fuser, fzf, g++, gatsby, gcal, gcalcli, gcc, gcloud, gcov, gdalbuildvrt, gdb, gdrive, gedit, gem, genie, genkernel, getent, getfacl, geth, getmac, gh, gh-auth, gh-config, gh-gist, gh-issue, gh-pr, gh-release, gh-repo, ghc, ghci, ghdl, ghost, gibo, gifsicle, gist, git, git-add, git-am, git-annex, git-apply, git-archive, git-bisect, git-blame, git-branch, git-bundle, git-cat-file, git-check-ignore, git-checkout, git-cherry, git-cherry-pick, git-clean, git-clone, git-commit, git-config, git-describe, git-diff, git-difftool, git-fetch, git-flow, git-format-patch, git-fsck, git-gc, git-grep, git-help, git-ignore, git-imerge, git-init, git-instaweb, git-lfs, git-log, git-ls-files, git-ls-remote, git-ls-tree, git-merge, git-mergetool, git-mv, git-notes, git-pr, git-prune, git-pull, git-push, git-rebase, git-reflog, git-remote, git-repack, git-replace, git-request-pull, git-reset, git-restore, git-rev-list, git-rev-parse, git-revert, git-rm, git-send-email, git-shortlog, git-show, git-show-branch, git-show-ref, git-sizer, git-stage, git-stash, git-status, git-submodule, git-subtree, git-svn, git-switch, git-tag, 

To update or clear local, run the below command:

$ tldr -u       #update local cache  
OR 
$ tldr -c       #clear local cache

You can search pages using keywords using -s option. For example:

$ tldr -s  "list of all files, sorted by modification date"
Searching for: list of all files, sorted by modification date

    $ sort
    $ date
    $ ls
    $ uniq
    $ exa
    $ tsort
    $ csvsort
    $ gtop
    $ vdir

Run tldr <command> to see specific pages.

You can show a random command using -r

$ tldr -r 
PAGE supervisorctl 

 supervisorctl 

 Supervisor is a client/server system that allows its users to control a number of processes on UNIX-like operating systems. 
 Supervisorctl is the command-line client piece of the supervisor which provides a shell-like interface. 
 More information: http://supervisord.org. 

 - Start/stop/restart a process: 
   supervisorctl start|stop|restart process_name 

 - Start/stop/restart all processes in a group: 
   supervisorctl start|stop|restart group_name:*
 - Show last 100 bytes of process stderr: 
   supervisorctl tail -100 process_name stderr 

 - Keep displaying stdout of a process: 
   supervisorctl tail -f process_name stdout 

 - Reload process config file to add/remove processes as necessary: 
   supervisorctl update 

To get more usage of tldr, run the command “tldr tldrl” as below:

$ tldr tldrl 

 tldrl 

 Lint and format tldr pages. 
 More information: https://github.com/tldr-pages/tldr-lint. 

 - Lint all pages: 
   tldrl pages_directory 

 - Format a specific page to stdout: 
   tldrl -f page.md 

 - Format all pages in place: 
   tldrl -fi pages_directory 


See also: tldr

That’s it. Enjoy using TLDR! More informative Linux comands below:

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