Best of Technical Support

Our experts answer your technical questions.
Man Page Display

How do I use man? For example, when I enter:

man ls

I get a blank screen with a weird message at the bottom of the screen—something like 1/1. Whatever I enter, it beeps at me. —Josh Gray Slackware 3.2

Check whether there are any files in the /usr/man/manx directory (where x is a number, usually from 1 to 8). You should find several different files with names like gpm.1. Each of these files is a man page. Whenever you use the man command, you get a processed version of the file corresponding to the command specified (for the ls command, it is the ls.x file). For this file to be processed, the groff utility must be installed. groff is usually found in the /usr/bin directory. —Mario de Mello Bittencourt Neto, WebSlave

Setting Up Swap Space

When I installed Linux, I didn't set up a swap space. I have since created a swap file but I have to enter:

swapon /dev/hda5

every time I boot, and I can do it only as root. Can I make this simpler? —Josh Gray Slackware 3.2

Slackware puts entries to automatically mount swap partitions (if they exist) in your rc script files. All you need to do is tell those files that your swap partition exists and is available for use. To do that, put a line in the /etc/fstab file like the following:

/dev/hda5    swap    swap    defaults    1   1

This tells the system to set up a swap space from /dev/hda5 with the default settings for a swap partition. This entry is normally created by the setup scripts when you install Slackware, and is the missing item that prevents your swap area from being initialized with each boot. —Chad Robinson, BRT Technical Services Corporation