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6.3 Documentation

In most cases packages installed with Guix come with documentation. There are two main documentation formats: “Info”, a browseable hypertext format used for GNU software, and “manual pages” (or “man pages”), the linear documentation format traditionally found on Unix. Info manuals are accessed with the info command or with Emacs, and man pages are accessed using man.

You can look for documentation of software installed on your system by keyword. For example, the following command searches for information about “TLS” in Info manuals:

$ info -k TLS
"(emacs)Network Security" -- STARTTLS
"(emacs)Network Security" -- TLS
"(gnutls)Core TLS API" -- gnutls_certificate_set_verify_flags
"(gnutls)Core TLS API" -- gnutls_certificate_set_verify_function
…

The command below searches for the same keyword in man pages:

$ man -k TLS
SSL (7)              - OpenSSL SSL/TLS library
certtool (1)         - GnuTLS certificate tool
…

These searches are purely local to your computer so you have the guarantee that documentation you find corresponds to what you have actually installed, you can access it off-line, and your privacy is respected.

Once you have these results, you can view the relevant documentation by running, say:

$ info "(gnutls)Core TLS API"

or:

$ man certtool

Info manuals contain sections and indices as well as hyperlinks like those found in Web pages. The info reader (see Info reader in Stand-alone GNU Info) and its Emacs counterpart (see Misc Help in The GNU Emacs Manual) provide intuitive key bindings to navigate manuals. See Getting Started in Info: An Introduction, for an introduction to Info navigation.


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