Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Man and Info

Man vs Info

Man and Info are two the mechanisms for providing documentation in the Unix and Unix-like environments (i.e. Linux). For most people, they seem redundant as they serve the same purpose and would often show the same thing. The main difference between Man and Info is the amount of content that they have; Info contains a whole lot more than Man does. Some people like Info because they can get a lot more from it while others like Man because it is straight to the point and they can quickly get what they want without wasting time.

Man is actually older than Info and it is slowly being replaced. But because Man is older, it is highly likely that it has the documentation that you are looking for. If you try to get the documentation with Info and it finds nothing, you would get the Man page instead. This is what has led many people to believe that the two are one and the same as they would get the same page with either one.

Aside from, but a side effect of, the amount of content you get, there is a difference between Man and Info in the way they presented to the user. A Man page is typically just that, a single page that contains all information. In comparison, an Info page is more structured and is composed of multiple pages that you can browse through using links. It is quite cumbersome to go through all the links and this is the main reason why people who are already used to Man are quite averse to Info. There are ways to make it easier though. One way for KDE users is to use kioslave so that you can view the Info page through Konqueror. This turns the Info page into an HTML format with clickable links that you can browse through just like any website.

Man and Info should provide you with everything you need to know about an application. In the end, it’s all about preference. If you are used to Man and you get what you need from it, then there is little use for changing habits. Beginners are probably better off with Info since it provides a more comprehensive learning.


1.Info contains a lot more information than Man
2.Man is older and is slowly being replaced by Info
3.Man is displayed when there is no Info documentation found
4.Man is typically a single page while Info is spread across multiple pages
5.Info allows navigation while Man does not

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  1. What are the navigation keys for info

    • man (from Unix) is vim-lime by default and info (from Gnu) is emacs-like by default.

      This is an old post, the prediction did not come true. Today, you must explicitly install info for Debian.

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