What's the difference between Documentation(doc), Manuals(man), Help, and Information(info)?

I've seen these four different words used across different system but mostly in Ubuntu. for the most part they seem to be interchangeable, but what is the difference between them or are they all the same?

This question might not belong here, if that's the case please tell me and I'll remove it.

  • This is a good question for English Language & Usage. Lets see if someone can move it for you.
    – Lucio
    Apr 8, 2014 at 0:07
  • I'm really not sure what your question is. Are you asking the difference between the English words? They're different uses in Ubuntu? The commands?
    – Seth
    Apr 8, 2014 at 0:13
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Documentation, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuals, don't know what you mean with help, and info or texinfo.
    – Braiam
    Apr 8, 2014 at 0:29
  • 5
    He's talking about the difference between man, info, /usr/share/*/doc and Ubuntu Help. Not OT.
    – chaskes
    Apr 8, 2014 at 1:57
  • I was talking about the meanings as they stand in Ubuntu. So far I only know that man is manual pages and they contain simple usage information. I don't know about the rest.
    – zeitue
    Apr 8, 2014 at 3:03

1 Answer 1

  1. Documentation

    wiki on documentation

    In regard with Ubuntu, docs are located in /usr/share/*/doc. They can contain almost anything (html, txt, css ,png) the developers(or documentors) seem appropriate. Examples are licenses, tutorials, examples etc.

  2. Info

    Wiki on Texinfo
    GNU textinfo page
    manpage for the info command Manpage icon

    This command is invoked as

    info utility/function/program

    which will show the texinfo page for utility in info format.

  3. Man

    Wiki on man page.
    manpage for the man command Manpage icon

    It is invoked as

    man utility/function/program

    This one is similar to info, but it has sections(1 to 9) and shows some colourful information.Unlike info, many options are available to man in order to give as much flexibility as possible to the user. Note that man may have less information than info.

  4. Help

    Wiki on help

    It displays information about builtin commands in bash.It is very short description of the function/command.More on help in help help

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