I just started learning Linux. I'm trying to read through all the documentation contained in the Info files. I first noticed them on a Mac (running Mountain Lion) when I typed the "info info" command. It brought up a handy tutorial on how to navigate through the nodes.

I don't want to waste company time while reading these docs on my work machine, so I tried to find the same tutorial on my Ubuntu machine at home (running 13.04). I typed "info info" again, but the output seems different. One of the available options was to hit "H" for a beginner's tutorial. I thought this was the same thing, but when I hit "H", it says there is no file or directory with that name. Typing "h" just brings up a short list of commands, not the in-depth file I was looking for.

What am I missing?


You can install it from the texinfo-doc-nonfree package:

sudo apt install texinfo-doc-nonfree

Quoted from /usr/share/doc/info/README.Debian:

This package does not contain the info documentation of info and texinfo,
as they are licensed under the GNU Free Document License with Cover Texts,
which is considered as non-free in Debian.
  • 1
    +1 for explaining why the docs aren't installed by default. This page has more information: people.debian.org/~srivasta/Position_Statement.html Essentially Debian objects to the overly broad license clauses intended to prevent storing the documentation with any form of DRM. According to Debian's interpretation, even permission bits would count as "technical measures to obstruct or control" access to the files. – remcycles Feb 27 '18 at 19:52

Indeed, there seems to be no info page for info.
What you see is the man page for info. It's certainly a bug, because even this man page says you'd better go and use info info to read info...

The practical solution for that problem would be to use the pinfo command instead of info - it's a text mode info browser too, but a little more modern:

pinfo pinfo

Not sure what the current title "Info documentation may be missing" means;

But in general, the "info" format - with the full name "GNU Texinfo" - is mostly used by GNU related projects; That means it's missing in many cases.

Luckily, man pages are available almost allways. So the info browser just shows the man page instead if the info page is not found, so that it will still work for non-GNU software, just less useful.

Your own answer took care of the other interpretation of
"Info documentation may be missing"


Found the Info Manual here: http://www.gnu.org/software/texinfo/manual/info/

Download the gzipped tar file;
wget https://www.gnu.org/software/texinfo/manual/info/info.info.tar.gz

Extract it;
tar xf info.info.tar.gz

And place the file in the info directory;
mv info.info /usr/share/info/

The "info info" command should now take you to this documentation.

  • You can also download it directly to the info directory (you may need to use sudo wget) and just rename it to remove the ".tar" part, the info program can read compressed files. mv info.info.tar.gz info.info.gz. So you'll en up with info.info.gz (like the rest of the info files) and it will work just fine ;) – JorgeArtware Oct 15 '14 at 5:07

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