Edoceo Praxis GNU/Linux Manual Pages

man(1)                      General Commands Manual                     man(1)



NAME
       man - format and display the on-line manual pages

SYNOPSIS
       man  [-acdfFhkKtwW]  [--path]  [-m system] [-p string] [-C config_file]
       [-M pathlist] [-P pager] [-B browser] [-H htmlpager] [-S  section_list]
       [section] name ...


DESCRIPTION
       man formats and displays the on-line manual pages.  If you specify secM-bM-^@M-^P
       tion, man only looks in that section of the manual.  name  is  normally
       the  name of the manual page, which is typically the name of a command,
       function, or file.  However, if name contains  a  slash  (/)  then  man
       interprets  it  as a file specification, so that you can do man ./foo.5
       or even man /cd/foo/bar.1.gz.

       See below for a description of where man  looks  for  the  manual  page
       files.


MANUAL SECTIONS
       The standard sections of the manual include:

       1      User Commands

       2      System Calls

       3      C Library Functions

       4      Devices and Special Files

       5      File Formats and Conventions

       6      Games et. Al.

       7      Miscellanea

       8      System Administration tools and Deamons

       Distributions  customize  the  manual section to their specifics, which
       often include additional sections.


OPTIONS
       -C  config_file
              Specify  the  configuration  file  to  use;   the   default   is
              /etc/man.conf.  (See man.conf(5).)

       -M  path
              Specify  the list of directories to search for man pages.  SepaM-bM-^@M-^P
              rate the directories with colons.  An empty list is the same  as
              not specifying -M at all.  See SEARCH PATH FOR MANUAL PAGES.

       -P  pager
              Specify  which pager to use.  This option overrides the MANPAGER
              environment variable, which in turn overrides  the  PAGER  variM-bM-^@M-^P
              able.  By default, man uses /usr/bin/less -isR.

       -B     Specify  which  browser to use on HTML files.  This option overM-bM-^@M-^P
              rides the BROWSER environment variable.  By  default,  man  uses
              /usr/bin/less-isR,

       -H     Specify  a command that renders HTML files as text.  This option
              overrides the HTMLPAGER environment variable.  By  default,  man
              uses /bin/cat,

       -S  section_list
              List  is  a  colon  separated list of manual sections to search.
              This option overrides the MANSECT environment variable.

       -a     By default, man will exit after displaying the first manual page
              it  finds.  Using this option forces man to display all the manM-bM-^@M-^P
              ual pages that match name, not just the first.

       -c     Reformat the source man page, even when an up-to-date  cat  page
              exists.   This  can  be meaningful if the cat page was formatted
              for a screen with a different number of columns, or if the  preM-bM-^@M-^P
              formatted page is corrupted.

       -d     Don't  actually  display  the  man  pages,  but do print gobs of
              debugging information.

       -D     Both display and print debugging info.

       -f     Equivalent to whatis.

       -F or --preformat
              Format only - do not display.

       -h     Print a help message and exit.

       -k     Equivalent to apropos.

       -K     Search for the specified string in  *all*  man  pages.  Warning:
              this  is  probably  very  slow!  It  helps to specify a section.
              (Just to give a rough idea, on my machine  this  takes  about  a
              minute per 500 man pages.)

       -m  system
              Specify  an  alternate  set  of man pages to search based on the
              system name given.

       -p  string
              Specify the sequence of preprocessors to  run  before  nroff  or
              troff.  Not all installations will have a full set of preprocesM-bM-^@M-^P
              sors.  Some of the preprocessors and the letters used to  desigM-bM-^@M-^P
              nate  them are: eqn (e), grap (g), pic (p), tbl (t), vgrind (v),
              refer (r).  This option  overrides  the  MANROFFSEQ  environment
              variable.

       -t     Use /usr/bin/groff -Tps -mandoc to format the manual page, passM-bM-^@M-^P
              ing  the  output  to  stdout.   The  default  output  format  of
              /usr/bin/groff  -Tps  -mandoc is Postscript, refer to the manual
              page of /usr/bin/groff -Tps -mandoc for ways to pick  an  alterM-bM-^@M-^P
              nate format.

       Depending  on  the  selected  format  and  the availability of printing
       devices, the output may need  to  be  passed  through  some  filter  or
       another before being printed.

       -w or --path
              Don't  actually  display  the  man pages, but do print the locaM-bM-^@M-^P
              tion(s) of the files that would be formatted or displayed. If no
              argument  is  given: display (on stdout) the list of directories
              that is searched by man for man pages. If manpath is a  link  to
              man, then "manpath" is equivalent to "man --path".

       -W     Like  -w,  but print file names one per line, without additional
              information.  This is useful in shell commands like man -aW  man
              | xargs ls -l


CAT PAGES
       Man  will try to save the formatted man pages, in order to save formatM-bM-^@M-^P
       ting time the next time these pages are needed.  Traditionally, formatM-bM-^@M-^P
       ted versions of pages in DIR/manX are saved in DIR/catX, but other mapM-bM-^@M-^P
       pings from man dir to cat dir can be specified  in  /etc/man.conf.   No
       cat pages are saved when the required cat directory does not exist.  No
       cat pages are saved when they are formatted for a line length different
       from  80.   No  cat  pages  are  saved  when man.conf contains the line
       NOCACHE.

       It is possible to make man suid to a user man. Then, if a cat directory
       has  owner  man and mode 0755 (only writable by man), and the cat files
       have owner man and mode 0644 or 0444 (only  writable  by  man,  or  not
       writable  at  all),  no  ordinary  user can change the cat pages or put
       other files in the cat directory. If man is not made suid, then  a  cat
       directory  should  have  mode 0777 if all users should be able to leave
       cat pages there.

       The option -c forces reformatting a page, even if  a  recent  cat  page
       exists.


HTML PAGES
       Man  will find HTML pages if they live in directories named as expected
       to be ".html", thus a valid name for an HTML version of the  ls(1)  man
       page would be /usr/share/man/htmlman1/ls.1.html.


SEARCH PATH FOR MANUAL PAGES
       man  uses a sophisticated method of finding manual page files, based on
       the invocation options and  environment  variables,  the  /etc/man.conf
       configuration file, and some built in conventions and heuristics.

       First  of  all, when the name argument to man contains a slash (/), man
       assumes it is a file specification itself, and there  is  no  searching
       involved.

       But in the normal case where name doesn't contain a slash, man searches
       a variety of directories for a file that could be a manual page for the
       topic named.

       If  you  specify  the -M pathlist option, pathlist is a colon-separated
       list of the directories that man searches.

       If you don't specify -M but set the MANPATH environment  variable,  the
       value  of  that  variable  is  the  list  of  the  directories that man
       searches.

       If you don't specify an explicit path list  with  -M  or  MANPATH,  man
       develops  its  own path list based on the contents of the configuration
       file /etc/man.conf.  The MANPATH statements in the  configuration  file
       identify particular directories to include in the search path.

       Furthermore,  the MANPATH_MAP statements add to the search path dependM-bM-^@M-^P
       ing on your command search path (i.e. your PATH environment  variable).
       For  each  directory  that  may  be  in the command search path, a MANM-bM-^@M-^P
       PATH_MAP statement specifies a directory that should be  added  to  the
       search  path for manual page files.  man looks at the PATH variable and
       adds the corresponding directories to the manual page file search path.
       Thus,  with  the  proper use of MANPATH_MAP, when you issue the command
       man xyz, you get a manual page for the program that would  run  if  you
       issued the command xyz.

       In  addition, for each directory in the command search path (we'll call
       it a "command directory") for which  you  do  not  have  a  MANPATH_MAP
       statement, man automatically looks for a manual page directory "nearby"
       namely as a subdirectory in the command directory itself or in the parM-bM-^@M-^P
       ent directory of the command directory.

       You  can  disable  the automatic "nearby" searches by including a NOAUM-bM-^@M-^P
       TOPATH statement in /etc/man.conf.

       In each directory in the search path as described above,  man  searches
       for  a file named topic.section, with an optional suffix on the section
       number and possibly a compression suffix.  If it doesn't  find  such  a
       file, it then looks in any subdirectories named manN or catN where N is
       the manual section number.  If the file is in a catN subdirectory,  man
       assumes  it is a formatted manual page file (cat page).  Otherwise, man
       assumes it is unformatted.  In either case, if the filename has a known
       compression suffix (like .gz), man assumes it is gzipped.

       If  you  want to see where (or if) man would find the manual page for a
       particular topic, use the --path (-w) option.


ENVIRONMENT
       MANPATH
              If MANPATH is set, man uses it as the path to search for  manual
              page  files.   It overrides the configuration file and the autoM-bM-^@M-^P
              matic search path,  but  is  overridden  by  the  -M  invocation
              option.  See SEARCH PATH FOR MANUAL PAGES.

       MANPL  If  MANPL  is set, its value is used as the display page length.
              Otherwise, the entire man page will occupy one (long) page.

       MANROFFSEQ
              If MANROFFSEQ is set, its value is used to determine the set  of
              preprocessors  run  before  running nroff or troff.  By default,
              pages are passed through the tbl preprocessor before nroff.

       MANSECT
              If MANSECT is set, its value is used to determine  which  manual
              sections to search.

       MANWIDTH
              If  MANWIDTH  is  set,  its  value is used as the width manpages
              should be displayed.  Otherwise the pages may be displayed  over
              the whole width of your screen.

       MANPAGER
              If MANPAGER is set, its value is used as the name of the program
              to use to display the man page.  If not, then PAGER is used.  If
              that has no value either, /usr/bin/less -isR is used.

       BROWSER
              The  name  of a browser to use for displaying HTML manual pages.
              If it is not set, /usr/bin/less -isR is used.

       HTMLPAGER
              The command to use for rendering HTML manual pages as text.   If
              it is not set, /bin/cat is used.

       LANG   If  LANG  is set, its value defines the name of the subdirectory
              where man first looks for man pages. Thus, the command  `LANG=dk
              man  1  foo'  will  cause  man  to  look for the foo man page in
              .../dk/man1/foo.1, and if it cannot find such a  file,  then  in
              .../man1/foo.1, where ... is a directory on the search path.

       NLSPATH, LC_MESSAGES, LANG
              The  environment variables NLSPATH and LC_MESSAGES (or LANG when
              the latter does not exist) play a role in locating  the  message
              catalog.   (But  the  English  messages are compiled in, and for
              English no catalog is required.)  Note that programs like col(1)
              called by man also use e.g. LC_CTYPE.

       PATH   PATH helps determine the search path for manual page files.  See
              SEARCH PATH FOR MANUAL PAGES.

       SYSTEM SYSTEM is used to get the default alternate system name (for use
              with the -m option).

BUGS
       The -t option only works if a troff-like program is installed.
       If  you  see  blinking  \255  or    instead  of hyphens, put `LESSM-bM-^@M-^P
       CHARSET=latin1' in your environment.

TIPS
       If you add the line

        (global-set-key [(f1)] (lambda ()  (interactive)  (manual-entry  (curM-bM-^@M-^P
       rent-word))))

       to your .emacs file, then hitting F1 will give you the man page for the
       library call at the current cursor position.

       To get a plain text version of  a  man  page,  without  backspaces  and
       underscores, try

         # man foo | col -b > foo.mantxt

AUTHOR
       John  W.  Eaton  was  the  original  author  of man.  Zeyd M. Ben-Halim
       released man 1.2, and Andries Brouwer followed  up  with  versions  1.3
       thru  1.5p.   Federico  Lucifredi    is the current
       maintainer.

SEE ALSO
       apropos(1), whatis(1), less(1), groff(1), man.conf(5).



                              September 19, 2005                        man(1)
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