Don’t Have Man On Bash

Shell Programming

When it comes to working in a Unix or Linux environment, one of the most essential tools is the bash shell. As a software developer, I rely heavily on bash for numerous tasks, and one thing I’ve learned over time is the importance of not having a “man” on bash. Let me explain why.

The Issue with Having a “man” on bash

As a beginner, I used to have the habit of executing the command man bash whenever I needed to refer to the bash manual. While this is a common practice and can be beneficial for learning more about bash, it can also lead to a problem. The issue arises when you inadvertently leave the “man” page open and try to execute commands in the same shell. The “man” process blocks the shell, preventing you from executing any new commands. This can be frustrating, especially when you’re in the middle of a task and need to quickly look up something in the bash manual.

Best Practices for Referencing the Bash Manual

After encountering this issue a few times, I realized the importance of adopting best practices for referencing the bash manual without getting caught up in the “man” command. One approach I found effective was to open the manual in a separate terminal window or use a tool like tldr that provides simplified and practical examples for commands, making it quicker to look up specific bash commands without getting stuck in a “man” process.

Creating Personal Aliases

Another technique I implemented to streamline my workflow was creating personal aliases for frequently used commands. For instance, I set up an alias to quickly access the bash manual without invoking the “man” process. This allowed me to maintain productivity without the risk of being blocked by a lingering “man” page.


Ultimately, avoiding having a “man” on bash has significantly improved my efficiency and productivity as a developer working in a Unix environment. By implementing best practices and utilizing time-saving tools, I’ve been able to navigate the bash manual seamlessly while minimizing the risk of getting stuck in a “man” process. If you’ve ever found yourself frustrated by a blocked bash shell due to the “man” command, I encourage you to explore alternative methods for referencing the bash manual and consider incorporating personal aliases into your workflow.