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User CommandsIntro(1)


 Intro, intro - introduction to commands and application programs



This section describes, in alphabetical order, commands available with this operating system.

Pages of special interest are categorized as follows:

Commands found only in the SunOS/BSD Compatibility Package.
Commands for communicating with other systems.
Commands associated with Form and Menu Language Interpreter (FMLI).
Commands specific to the SunOS system.



See these sections of the man pages section 1M: System Administration Commands for more information.

  • Section 1M in this manual for system maintenance commands.
  • Section 4 of this manual for information on file formats.
  • Section 5 of this manual for descriptions of publicly available files and miscellaneous information pages.
  • Section 6 in this manual for computer demonstrations.

For tutorial information about these commands and procedures, see:

  • Solaris Advanced User's Guide

Manual Page Command Syntax


Unless otherwise noted, commands described in the SYNOPSIS section of a manual page accept options and other arguments according to the following syntax and should be interpreted as explained below.

name [-option...] [cmdarg...] where:

[ ]
Surround an option or cmdarg that is not required.
Indicates multiple occurrences of the option or cmdarg.
The name of an executable file.
{ }
The options and/or arguments enclosed within braces are interdependent, such that everything enclosed must be treated as a unit.
(Always preceded by a "-".) noargletter... or, argletter optarg[,...]
A single letter representing an option without an option-argument. Note that more than one noargletter option can be grouped after one "-" (Rule 5, below).
A single letter representing an option requiring an option-argument.
An option-argument (character string) satisfying a preceding argletter. Note that groups of optargs following an argletter must be separated by commas, or separated by a tab or space character and quoted (Rule 8, below).
Path name (or other command argument) not beginning with "-", or "-" by itself indicating the standard input.

Command Syntax Standard: Rules


These command syntax rules are not followed by all current commands, but all new commands will obey them. getopts(1) should be used by all shell procedures to parse positional parameters and to check for legal options. It supports Rules 3-10 below. The enforcement of the other rules must be done by the command itself.

  1. Command names (name above) must be between two and nine characters long.
  2. Command names must include only lower-case letters and digits.
  3. Option names (option above) must be one character long.
  4. All options must be preceded by "-".
  5. Options with no arguments may be grouped after a single "-".
  6. The first option-argument (optarg above) following an option must be preceded by a tab or space character.
  7. Option-arguments cannot be optional.
  8. Groups of option-arguments following an option must either be separated by commas or separated by tab or space character and quoted (-o xxx,z,yy or - o "xxx z yy").
  9. All options must precede operands (cmdarg above) on the command line.
  10. "--" may be used to indicate the end of the options.
  11. The order of the options relative to one another should not matter.
  12. The relative order of the operands (cmdarg above) may affect their significance in ways determined by the command with which they appear.
  13. "-" preceded and followed by a space character should only be used to mean standard input.



See attributes(5) for a discussion of the attributes listed in this section.



getopts(1), wait(1), exit(2), getopt(3C), wait(3UCB), attributes(5)



Upon termination, each command returns two bytes of status, one supplied by the system and giving the cause for termination, and (in the case of "normal" termination) one supplied by the program [see wait(3UCB) and exit(2)]. The former byte is 0 for normal termination; the latter is customarily 0 for successful execution and non-zero to indicate troubles such as erroneous parameters, or bad or inaccessible data. It is called variously "exit code", "exit status", or "return code", and is described only where special conventions are involved.



Some commands produce unexpected results when processing files containing null characters. These commands often treat text input lines as strings and therefore become confused upon encountering a null character (the string terminator) within a line.

SunOS 5.9Go To TopLast Changed 1 Nov 1999

Copyright 2002 Sun Microsystems, Inc. All rights reserved. Use is subject to license terms.