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Conventions used in this guide

The following conventions are used within this guide:


Anything appearing in italic, like this is either an executable command or emphasized text. Tools (executable commands) are in italics to prevent confusion. Some tools have names which are real english words, such as the “locate” tool.

key combinations

Are represented by using a '-' (dash sign) in-between the key(s), which must be used in combination. All combinations are also printed in italics to improve clarity. For example CTRL-Z means hold down the Control key and press the z key.


Admonitions are little pictures used to emphasize something of importance to the reader.

The five types used are:

This is a note: Notes often give important information about a tool.

This is a tip: This will offer a useful switch or useful way to use a tool.

This is something important: This is something that is considered very important. Consider it like a note with extra importance, they are usually there to save the reader time.

This is a caution

This will inform you of something that you be careful about (because it could be harmful to your system).

This is a warning

This will inform you of something that you shouldn't do (because it probably will break something within your system).

code examples

Code examples are shown for most commands.

Below is an example of what code looks like:

Hello World, I'm a code example. :)
command syntax

(or a similar phrase) simply shows how you would normally use the command. Often real examples are used instead of explaining the command syntax.

The phrase “ Command syntax” is always followed by the way you would type a command in a shell.

The standard syntax for any tool is usually:

command -options file

Note: Note that some tools do not accept options.


Also note that most commands, even when not explicitly stated, will work with standard wildcards (or globbing patterns) such as *, [A-Z] and various other standard wildcards. Refer to the Section called Standard Wildcards (globbing patterns) in Chapter 20 for further information.

access keys

Access keys enable navigation through the document, without relying on a mouse. The following keys have been given special meaning in this document:


Previous page.


Next page.


Home of the document (Table of Contents).


Up (takes you one level up the section hierarchy).

If you also happen to be reading the document from its original location, then the following access keys can also be used:


Start (takes you to the author's start page).


The current (“This”) page, without the Sitemenu on the left.


The current page in a frameset, where the left frame contains a Menu.

To use the access keys, you have to simultaneously press a modifier key, which may vary from browser to browser. For example in NN6+/Mozilla, the modifier key is ALT, so you have to use ALT-N to go to the next page, and ALT-P to come back. In other browsers such as IE6, the access keys just give focus to the associated link, so the sequence becomes ALT-N Enter . Try it, you'll like it!
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