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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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ptx [options] [infiles] ptx -G [options] [infile [outfile] ]

Create a permuted index, including context, from the contents of the specified input files. If the input files are omitted, or are -, read from standard input. The results are written to standard output. In the second form, with the -G option, ptx behaves like the System V version rather than the GNU version; you specify only one input file, and you can also specify an output file. Because they show words in context, permuted indexes are often used in such places as bibliographic or medical databases, thesauruses, or web sites to aid in locating entries of interest.


-A, --auto-reference

Produce automatically generated references, consisting of the filename and line number, separated by a colon, and print them at the beginning of each line.

-b file, --break-file=file

The specified file contains word-break characters—characters that are not part of words, but separate them.

-C, --copyright

Display the ptx copyright information and exit.

-f, --ignore-case

Ignore case when sorting, by folding lowercase into uppercase.

-F string, --flag-truncation=string

Use string to flag line truncations.

-g num, --gap-size=num

Specify the number of spaces between output columns.

-G, --traditional

Behave like System V ptx; don't use the GNU extensions. If an output file is specified, any existing contents are lost.


Display a help message and exit.

-i file, --ignore-file=file

Read the list of words that are not to be used as keywords in the concordance output from file.

-M string, --macro-name=string

Select a string for use when generating output suitable for nroff, troff or TEX. The default is xx.

-o file, --only-file=file

Specify the "only" file, which contains a list of words to be used in the concordance output. Any words not in file are ignored. If both an only file and an ignore file are specified, a word must appear in the only file and not appear in the ignore file to be used as a keyword.

-O [roff] , --format=roff

Format the output as roff directives suitable to be used as input to nroff or troff. Use -T for TEX output.

-r, --references

Use the first field of each line as a reference to identify the line in the permuted index.

-R, --right-side-refs

Put references on the right, instead of the left. Used with -r and -A. The space taken up by the references is not taken into account by -w, even if -R is specified without -r or -A.

-S regexp, --sentence-regexp=regexp

Specify a regular expression to identify the end of a line or a sentence. Without -G and without -r, the end of a sentence is used. With -G, or with -r, the end of a line is used. An empty regex disables end-of-line or end-of-sentence recognition.

-T [tex] , --format=tex

Format the output as TEX directives suitable to be used as TEX input. Use -O for roff output.


Print version information and exit.

-w num, --width=num

Select the maximum output-line width (excluding the width of any reference if -R is specified).

-W regexp, --word-regexp=regexp

Use the specified regular expression to match each keyword.

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