5.1 Documentation


Documentation for GNU/Linux abounds but finding it is sometimes a little challenging, hence one of the goals of this book. Often you can find command documentation as a man page (manual pages), sometimes as a texinfo document, sometimes as a html document, and sometimes as a GNOME document. And that’s just on your local system—searching the Internet for documentation is often very fruitful.

The dwww package provides a useful local web interface to GNU/Linux documentation that can be found locally on a Debian-based system. After installing the package you need to ensure cgi scripts are supported by your browser:

  $ wajig install dwww
  $ sudo a2enmod cgi
  $ sudo systemctl restart apache2

Then point your browser to http://localhost/dwww/.

Another useful browser based interface to locally installed documentation is provided by doc-central, doc-central. Be sure to also have doc-base, doc-base installed, though usually it is already installed. Doc-central, Doc-central uses a local web server (like apache2, apache2) to present a list of all registered documents. Documentation using the info format is rendered using info2www. All other file types are left to the browser to decide how to render. The available documentation comes from the doc-base, doc-base registration entries and so requires that each package maintainer registers their package documentation. Not all packages have registered their documentation.

Some setup is required to get your local web server to access the local files:

  $ wajig install doc-central
  $ sudo a2enmod cgi
  $ sudo echo "Alias /dc /usr/share/doc-central/www" >> /etc/apache2/apache2.conf
  $ sudo echo "Alias /doc /usr/share/doc" >> /etc/apache2/apache2.conf
  $ sudo systemctl restart apache2

Then point your browser to http://localhost/dc/.

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