No, there are no micro-agressions here. This is a tip on a very important tool to have in your belt when taking Red Hat RHCSA and RHCE exams. Although the LPI exams are multiple-choice, the Red Hat exams are performance based and taken on computers with no Internet access. Luckily for us, Red Hat does include, and allows you to use, all of the standard documentation delivered and installed in a normal Red Hat installation, including the man command.
There is a trick to using man for shell commands. If you type:
$ man if
for instance, you won’t find help on the if statement. Depending on installation options you may get help with the if statement in Perl but not the shell if statement – not the if statement you would be using in writing shell scripts and will almost certainly need when taking Red Hat exams.
What’s the solution?
$ man bash
will get you the manual for the bash shell including all of the shell commands, including the if command as well as the conditional expressions often used with the if command.
As I prepare for my own Red Hat exams, one concern I have is that I can never seem to remember all of the options for Conditional Expressions. I know the options are there and how to use them in an if statement but I write few enough shell scripts that I usually have to look the options up when writing a new script. Knowing that I can call on man bash to get the help for shell commands, I am not concerned.
Keep in mind that it’s still important to remember as much as you can. For instance, if you forget that Conditional Expressions are called that – conditional expressions – you might spend a lot of valuable test time reading through man pages. You still have to do the work, practice, and study to remember the keywords associated to the problem solutions you’re working on so you can search to them quickly for those little details that you just can’t always remember.
The goal should be to know and remember all you need to pass the test but all of us are subject to freezing up a bit on a test. Knowing how to find what you need using the man system, including the man bash command, can help to quickly remove those mental blocks and get you back to work on the test.
And don’t forget to study the Linux Academy lesson, in the Linux Essentials course, on accessing Linux help.