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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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m4 [options] [macros] [files]

Macro processor for C and other files.


-e, --interactive

Operate interactively, unbuffered, ignoring interrupts.

-dflags, --debug=flags

Specify flag-level debugging.


Print help message, then exit.

-ln, --arglength=n

Specify the length of debugging output.

-o file, --error-output=file

Place output in file. Despite the name, print error messages on standard error.

-P, --prefix-built-ins

Prepend m4_ to all built-in macro names.

-s, --synclines

Insert #line directives for the C preprocessor.

-tname, --trace=name

Insert name into symbol table as undefined. Trace macro from the point it is defined.


Print version, then exit.


Set the size of the pushback and argument collection buffers to n (default is 4096).

-Dname[=value] , --define=name[=value]

Define name as value or, if value is not specified, define name as null.

-E, --fatal-warnings

Consider all warnings to be fatal, and exit after the first of them.

-Ffile, --freeze-state=file

Record m4's frozen state in file for later reloading.

-G, --traditional

Behave like traditional m4, ignoring GNU extensions.

-Hn, --hashsize=n

Set symbol-table hash array to n (default is 509).

-Idirectory, --include=directory

Search directory for include files.

-Ln, --nesting-limit=n

Change artificial nesting limit to n.

-Q, --quiet, --silent

Suppress warning messages.

-Rfile, --reload-state=file

Load state from file before starting execution.

-Uname, --undefine=name

Undefine name.

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