If you know what software or topic you want information about, read on. If you are searching for software, see the Getting Software page.

Online Documentation

Online documentation consists of man pages and the web.

UNIX Man Pages

The traditional source of all information about a UNIX system are the man (for manual) pages. To view the UNIX manual page about a particular command, library routine, system file, or other resource (for instance, the ls command):
% man ls

If you don't see the page you expected, perhaps there are multiple pages with the same name. There are usually several different man pages named "time", see them all with this command:

% whatis time

Linux Online Doc

Linux systems store package-specific documentation in /usr/share/doc. The Linux Documentation Project offers extensive documentation on a verity of topics.  The audience varies from beginner to wizard, depending on the topic. To view their HOWTO pages click here.

Windows Online Doc

Try clicking the Help button on the Start menu.

The Web

If you are reading this online, you've already discovered the technical staff's online doc. In these pages are information, or pointers to information about nearly every aspect of the department's computing systems.

Many commercial and open-source software projects put their reference manuals and tutorials on their web sites. For a particular software product, this is usually the most up-to-date and accurate information source.

Hardcopy Documentation

Hardcopy manuals and books sometimes come with software the department acquires. The department also purchases books from time to time which are useful to more than a few people. These manuals and books are located in several collections throughout the department.


Research Labs
Each research lab maintains its own collection of books and manuals, usually more focused on the work that goes on there. For more information, contact the research groups that use the labs.
The Sunlab
There is a collection of books and manuals at the back of the sunlab. Please do not remove these books from the room. For more information about this collection contact the Head Consultant.

Buying Your Own

The Technology Center, located on the upper floor of the Brown Bookstore, has a good selection of titles, and is conveniently just up the street. They can special order any title you can't find. There are also more academic computer science titles on the text (lower) floor of the bookstore, in the computer science section.

All books purchased by the Department (e.g. with research funds) enjoy a 20% discount and are tax-free. You'll need an IPR (Internal Purchase Requisition) for that.