4

In some manuals online I see numbers in parentheses following the commands, like (sshd(8), ssh_config(5), etc.). What does this mean, and why is it important to indicate/show the number?

7

See the manual page for the man command. Ie. man man

The table below shows the section numbers of the manual followed by the types of pages they contain.

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  convenâ
    tions), e.g. man(7), groff(7)
8   System administration commands (usually only for root)
9   Kernel routines [Non standard]

By the way it is also a dropdownbox on the openssh website:

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