Skip to Main Content

Spring classes begin Jan. 25 as fully remote, 25% transition to in-person Feb. 1. For more information, visit COVID website.

Getting Help

Where can I find system documentation?

There is the GNU info system. For example if you are curious about libc try:

info libc

For quick answers the man pages are sometimes better.

man printf

The most useful man command is "q" (to quit)

The most useful man option is "-k" for "keyword" For example

man -k passwd | more you

chage (1) - change user password expiry information
chpasswd (8) - update password file in batch
crypt (3) - password and data encryption
d_passwd (5) - The dialup shell password file
dpasswd (8) - change dialup password
endpwent (3) - get password file entry
expiry (1) - check and enforce password expiration policy
fgetpwent (3) - get password file entry
getpass (3) - get a password
getpw (3) - Re-construct password line entry
getpwent (3) - get password file entry
getpwnam (3) - get password file entry
getpwuid (3) - get password file entry
grpconv (8) - convert to and from shadow passwords and groups.
grpunconv (8) - convert to and from shadow passwords and groups.
mmsitepass (8) - Set the Mailman site password, prompting from the terminl.
passwd (1) - change user password
passwd (1ssl) - compute password hashes
passwd (5) - The password file
pg_passwd (1) - change a secondary PostgreSQL password file
putpwent (3) - write a password file entry

Reading through this info, you realize that:

passwd (1) - change user password

has the info you want, so you type:

man passwd

How do I know a problem has been reported?

Generally it is better to assume that a problem has not been reported. This is especially true with stuff that has been broken for a couple days. If you'd expect that something could be fixed quickly and it hasn't been, then odds are nobody has reported the problem.

How can I get human help?

1. Stop by Olsen 312.

3. Send email to help AT

Generally you'll get quicker results by asking the folks in 312 first. If you want help at 3 a.m., or want more than one person to attempt a solution, try sending email to help AT

What if there is nobody in Olsen 312?

If it's between 9am and 5pm it is likely that staff is in a lab or office working on a problem. Try sending email to help AT with your location for the next hour or so, or check back in 30 minutes. If it is after 5 PM or on the weekend, e-mail help AT .

When will I get a reply to email sent to help AT

You will get an automated answer saying the request was delivered, an email when it is solved and possibly another email explaining things further if needed.