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Linux in a Nutshell

This directory of Linux commands is from Linux in a Nutshell, 5th Edition.

Click on any of the 687 commands below to get a description and list of available options. All links in the command summaries point to the online version of the book on Safari Bookshelf.

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gs [options] [files]

GhostScript, an interpreter for Adobe Systems' PostScript and PDF (Portable Document Format) languages. Used for document processing. With - in place of files, standard input is used.


-- filename arg1 ...

Take the next argument as a filename, but use all remaining arguments to define ARGUMENTS in userdict (not systemdict) as an array of those strings before running the file.


Specify width and height of device; intended for systems like the X Window System.


Quiet startup.

-rnumber, -rnumber1xnumber2

Specify X and Y resolutions (for the benefit of devices, such as printers, that support multiple X and Y resolutions). If only one number is given, it is used for both X and Y resolutions.

-Dname=token, -dname=token

Define a name in systemdict with the given definition. The token must be exactly one token (as defined by the token operator) and must not contain any whitespace.

-Dname, -dname

Define a name in systemdict with a null value.


Add the designated list of directories at the head of the search path for library files.

-Sname=string, -sname=string

Define a name in systemdict with a given string as value.

Special names


Cause individual character outlines to be loaded from the disk the first time they are encountered.


Disable the bind operator. Useful only for debugging.


Disable character caching. Useful only for debugging.


Suppress the normal initialization of the output device. May be useful when debugging.


Disable the prompt and pause at the end of each page.


Disable the use of fonts supplied by the underlying platform (e.g., the X Window System).


Disable the deletefile and renamefile operators, and the ability to open files in any mode other than read-only.


Leave systemdict writable.


Select an alternate initial output device.


Select an alternate output file (or pipe) for the initial output device.

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