Get Linux Commands Cheat sheet using TLDR

Ankur Gupta
Ankur Gupta
Web developer by profession, Over 10 years experience of building websites and web applications. Currently working on Epaper CMS Cloud (Software As Service based product). Special interest in computer and technology. After writing on the blogger platform for years, started his own tech portal Antarjaal.In.

In Linux, if you want to know about a command, you have to look into MAN pages. Although the MAN pages contain complete information about requested command, still it is somewhat difficult for the common user to understand. Today we will discuss about TLDR. TLDR is a collection of “help pages” related to Linux commands maintained by communities that can be accessed by any client. This can become an alternative to traditional MAN pages. Because it is very easy to understand.

Difference between TLDR and MAN Pages. TLDR vs MAN Pages

You can understand the difference between TLDR and MAN pages with the following example. Suppose we need information about the ‌ tar command. So the MAN page would look something like this to us:

man tar
TAR(1)                                                                          GNU TAR Manual                                                                          TAR(1)

       tar - an archiving utility

   Traditional usage
       tar {A|c|d|r|t|u|x}[GnSkUWOmpsMBiajJzZhPlRvwo] [ARG...]

   UNIX-style usage

       tar -c [-f ARCHIVE] [OPTIONS] [FILE...]

       tar -d [-f ARCHIVE] [OPTIONS] [FILE...]

       tar -t [-f ARCHIVE] [OPTIONS] [MEMBER...]

       tar -r [-f ARCHIVE] [OPTIONS] [FILE...]

       tar -u [-f ARCHIVE] [OPTIONS] [FILE...]

       tar -x [-f ARCHIVE] [OPTIONS] [MEMBER...]

   GNU-style usage
       tar {--catenate|--concatenate} [OPTIONS] ARCHIVE ARCHIVE

       tar --create [--file ARCHIVE] [OPTIONS] [FILE...]

       tar {--diff|--compare} [--file ARCHIVE] [OPTIONS] [FILE...]

       tar --delete [--file ARCHIVE] [OPTIONS] [MEMBER...]

       tar --append [-f ARCHIVE] [OPTIONS] [FILE...]

       tar --list [-f ARCHIVE] [OPTIONS] [MEMBER...]

       tar --test-label [--file ARCHIVE] [OPTIONS] [LABEL...]

       tar --update [--file ARCHIVE] [OPTIONS] [FILE...]

       tar --update [-f ARCHIVE] [OPTIONS] [FILE...]

       tar {--extract|--get} [-f ARCHIVE] [OPTIONS] [MEMBER...]

       This manpage is a short description of GNU tar.  For a detailed discussion, including examples and usage recommendations, refer to the GNU Tar Manual available in tex‐
       info format.  If the info reader and the tar documentation are properly installed on your system, the command

Whereas, tldr will output something like this:

tldr tar
✔ Page not found. Updating cache...
✔ Creating index...


  Archiving utility.
  Often combined with a compression method, such as gzip or bzip.
  More information:

  - Create an archive from files:
    tar cf target.tar file1 file2 file3

  - Create a gzipped archive:
    tar czf target.tar.gz file1 file2 file3

  - Create a gzipped archive from a directory using relative paths:
    tar czf target.tar.gz -C path/to/directory .

  - Extract a (compressed) archive into the current directory:
    tar xf source.tar[.gz|.bz2|.xz]

  - Extract a (compressed) archive into the target directory:
    tar xf source.tar[.gz|.bz2|.xz] -C directory

  - Create a compressed archive, using archive suffix to determine the compression program:
    tar caf target.tar.xz file1 file2 file3

  - List the contents of a tar file:
    tar tvf source.tar

  - Extract files matching a pattern:
    tar xf source.tar --wildcards "*.html"

  - Extract a specific file without preserving the folder structure:
    tar xf source.tar source.tar/path/to/extract --strip-components=depth_to_strip

As you can see that tldr presents examples of commands. It is very easy for the common user to understand. tldr can also be called the Linux command line cheat-sheet. TLDR will help newbies to switch to Linux.

How to install TLDR Client?

There are many ways to install TLDR Client. You can install it in various ways like Node, PHP, Ruby, VSCode etc. If you have Nodejs installed on your computer, you can install it through npm as well. To install TLDR Client via npm give the following command:

npm install -g tldr

You can also install it as an extension of Visual Studio Code.

Download TLDR

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