Chapter 4. Help and Documentation


4.1. Using the SUSE Help Center
4.2. Man Pages
4.3. Info Pages
4.4. The Linux Documentation Project
4.5. Wikipedia: The Free Online Encyclopedia
4.6. Guides and Books
4.7. Package Documentation
4.8. Usenet
4.9. Standards and Specifications


SUSE Linux comes with various sources of information and documentation. The SUSE Help Center provides central access to the most important documentation resources on your system in searchable form. These resources include online help for installed applications, manual pages, info pages, databases on hardware and software topics, and all manuals delivered with your product.

4.1. Using the SUSE Help Center

When you start the SUSE Help Center for the first time from the main menu (SuSE Help Center) or with the command susehelp in the shell, a window as shown in Figure 4.1, “The Main Window of the SUSE Help Center” is displayed. The dialog window consists of three main areas:

Menu Bar and Toolbar

The menu bar provides the main editing, navigation, and configuration options. File contains the option for printing the currently displayed content. Under Edit, access the search function. Go contains all navigation possibilities: Table of Contents (home page of the Help Center), Back, Forward, and Last Search Result. With Settings+Build Search Index, generate a search index for all selected information sources. The toolbar contains three navigation icons (forward, back, home) and a printer icon for printing the current contents.

Navigation Area with Tabs

The navigation area in the left part of the window provides an input field for a quick search in selected information sources. Details regarding the search and the configuration of the search function in the Search tab are presented in Section 4.1.2, “The Search Function”. The Contents tab presents a tree view of all available and currently installed information sources. Click the book icons to open and browse the individual categories.

View Window

The view window always displays the currently selected contents, such as online manuals, search results, or Web pages.

Figure 4.1. The Main Window of the SUSE Help Center

The Main Window of the SUSE Help Center
[Note]Language Selects View

The documentation available in the SUSE Help Center depends on the current language. Changing your language changes the tree view.

4.1.1. Contents

The SUSE Help Center provides access to useful information from various sources. It contains special documentation for SUSE Linux (Start-Up and Reference), all available information sources for your workstation environment, online help for the installed programs, and help texts for other applications. Furthermore, the SUSE Help Center provides access to SUSE's online databases that cover special hardware and software issues for SUSE Linux. All these sources can be searched comfortably once a search index has been generated.

4.1.2. The Search Function

To search all installed information sources of SUSE Linux, generate a search index and set a number of search parameters. To do this, use the Search tab, shown in Figure 4.2, “Configuring the Search Function”.

Figure 4.2. Configuring the Search Function

Configuring the Search Function

If no search index has been generated, the system automatically prompts you to do so when you click the Search tab or enter a search string then click Search. In the window for generating the search index, shown in Figure 4.3, “Generating a Search Index”, use the check boxes to determine the information sources to index. The index is generated when you exit the dialog with Build Index.

Figure 4.3. Generating a Search Index

Generating a Search Index

To limit the search base and the hit list as precisely as possible, use the three drop-down menus to determine the number of displayed hits and the selection area of sources to search. The following options are available for determining the selection area:


A predefined selection of sources is searched.


All sources are searched.


No sources selected for the search.


Determine the sources to search by activating the respective check boxes in the overview.

When you have completed the search configuration, click Search. The relevant items are then displayed in the view window and can easily be navigated with mouse clicks.