Take the 2-minute tour ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Often, I read something like command time(1) or printf(3).

What do the numbers in the brackets stand for ?

share|improve this question
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I believe you're referring to man pages.

The number refers to section of the manpages that the command is documented in. It's a historical Unixism. See man man.

To access different sections, you supply the number in the command, like :

man 1 time
man 7 time

Here are the man page sections:

   1   Executable programs or shell commands
   2   System calls (functions provided by the kernel)
   3   Library calls (functions within program libraries)
   4   Special files (usually found in /dev)
   5   File formats and conventions eg /etc/passwd
   6   Games
   7   Miscellaneous (including macro packages and conventions), e.g. man(7), groff(7)
   8   System administration commands (usually only for root)
   9   Kernel routines [Non standard]
share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.