pinfo – Read Linux Info Documentation in Colors

You can display man pages in colors. Similarly, you can display info pages in colors. The info command is used under Linux or Unix to read multipage documentation and act as help viewer working on a command line interface, useful when there is no GUI available on the server. The info command processes info files. All info files are are in Texinfo format. You get the documentation tree. pinfo is a little known tool that can display info pages in colors.

We can install pinfo on Linux and Unix-like systems such as FreeBSD or macOS.

Install pinfo

Type the following apt-get command to install the pinfo under Debian / Ubuntu Linux, enter:
# apt-get install pinfo
Sample outputs:

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  pinfo
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 12 not upgraded.
Need to get 90.0 kB of archives.
After this operation, 381 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Get:1 http://debian.osuosl.org/debian/ squeeze/main pinfo amd64 0.6.9-5 [90.0 kB]
Fetched 90.0 kB in 1s (58.7 kB/s)                     
Selecting previously deselected package pinfo.
(Reading database ... 255859 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking pinfo (from .../pinfo_0.6.9-5_amd64.deb) ...

FreeBSD unix user can use the port as follows install the same:
# cd /usr/ports/misc/pinfo/ && make install clean
We can also use the pkg command as follows:
$ sudo pkg install pinfo

CentOS/RHEL 8.x and Fedora Linux

Use the dnf command to install pinfo:
sudo dnf install pinfo

Arch Linux install pinfo

Execut the pacman command:
sudo pacman -S pinfo

OpenSUSE/SUSE Enterprise Linux

We can use the zypper command as follows:
sudo zypper in pinfo

macOS install pinfo

Make sure you install Homebrew on macOS to use the brew package manager and then type:
brew install pinfo

How do I use pinfo command?

The syntax is as follows:

pinfo page
pinfo command

To read bash info page, enter:
$ info bash
Sample outputs:

Fig.01 – Linux info command read online documentation

To read bash info page using pinfo viewer, enter:
$ pinfo bash
Sample outputs:

Fig.02: pinfo in action

To create the alias use the following syntax and add alias to your ~/.bashrc file :

alias info='pinfo'

You can use the following keys to move between various pages:

  1. n goes to the next page.
  2. p goes to the previous page.
  3. u goes to the upper page.
  4. To follow a cross reference, the cursor can be moved over a link (a word preceded by a *) and enter pressed.
  5. q exit pinfo.

Summing up

pinfo is user-friendly, console-based viewer for Info documents under Linux, FreeBSD and Unix-like systems. The pinfo has many options, see man page for more information:
$ man pinfo
$ pinfo pinfo


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1 comment… add one
  • Anonymous Mar 29, 2021 @ 11:22

    Thank you for this!

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