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Linux & Unix Commands - Search Man Pages

man(1) [bsd man page]

MAN(1)							      General Commands Manual							    MAN(1)

NAME
man - print out the manual SYNOPSIS
man [ - ] [ -a ] [ -M path ] [ section ] title ... DESCRIPTION
Man is the program which provides on-line access to the UNIX manual. If a section specifier is given, man looks in that section of the manual for the given title(s). Section is either an Arabic section number (``3'' for example), or one of the words ``local'', ``new,'' or ``old''. (The abbreviations ``l'', ``n'', and ``o'' are also allowed.) If section is omitted, man searches all sections of the manual, giving preference to commands over library subroutines, and displays the first manual page it finds, if any. If the -a option is supplied, man displays all applicable manual pages. Normally man checks in standard locations (/usr/man and /usr/local/man) for manual information. This can be changed by supplying a search path (a la the Bourne shell) with the -M flag. The search path is a colon (``:'') separated list of directories in which man expects to find the standard manual subdirectories. This search path can also be set with the environmental variable MANPATH. Since some manual pages are intended for use only on certain machines, man only searches those directories applicable to the current machine. Man's determination of the current machine type can be overridden by setting the environmental variable MACHINE. If the standard output is a teletype, and the - flag is not provided, man uses more(1), or the pager provided by the environmental variable PAGER, to display the manual page. The FORTRAN version of section 3 of the manual may be specified by supplying man with the section ``3f''. Also, a specific section of the local manual may be specified by appending a number to the section, i.e. ``l5'' would indicate section 5 of the local manual. FILES
/usr/man standard manual area /usr/man/cat?/* directories containing standard manual pages /usr/local/man/cat?/* directories containing local manual pages /usr/src/man directories containing unformatted manual pages SEE ALSO
apropos(1), more(1), whatis(1), whereis(1) BUGS
The manual is supposed to be reproducible either on the phototypesetter or on a typewriter, however, on a typewriter, some information is necessarily lost. 4th Berkeley Distribution April 19, 1988 MAN(1)

Check Out this Related Man Page

MAN.CONF(5)						      BSD File Formats Manual						       MAN.CONF(5)

NAME
man.conf -- configuration file for manual pages DESCRIPTION
The man.conf file contains the default configuration used by man(1), apropos(1), whatis(1), catman(8), and makewhatis(8) to find manual pages and information about manual pages (e.g. the whatis database). Manual pages are located by searching an ordered set of directories called the ``man path'' for a file that matches the name of the requested page. Each directory in the search path usually has a set of subdirectories in it (though this is not required). When subdirectories are used, there are normally two subdirectories for each section of the manual. One subdirectory contains formatted copies of that section's manual pages that can be directly displayed to a terminal, while the other section subdirectory contains unformatted copies of the pages (see nroff(1) and mdoc(7)). Formatted manual pages are normally named with a trailing ``.0'' suffix. The man.conf file contains comment and configuration lines. Comment lines start with the ``#'' character. Blank lines are also treated as comment lines. Configuration lines consist of a configuration keyword followed by a configuration string. There are two types of configura- tion keywords: control keywords and section keywords. Control keywords must start with the ``_'' character. The following control keywords are currently defined: _build identifies the set of suffixes used for manual pages that must be formatted for display and the command that should be used to for- mat them. Manual file names, regardless of their format, are expected to end in a ``.*'' pattern, i.e. a ``.'' followed by some suffix. The first field of a _build line contains a man page suffix specification. The suffix specification may contain the nor- mal shell globbing characters (NOT including curly braces (``{}'')). The rest of the _build line is a shell command line whose standard output is a formatted manual page that can be directly displayed to the user. There should be exactly one occurrence of the string ``%s'' in the shell command line, and it will be replaced by the name of the file which is being formatted. _crunch used by catman(8) to determine how to crunch formatted pages which originally were compressed man pages: The first field lists a suffix which indicates what kind of compression were used to compress the man page. The rest of the line must be a shell command line, used to compress the formatted pages. There should be exactly one occurrence of the string ``%s'' in the shell command line, and it will be replaced by the name of the output file. _default contains the system-wide default man path used to search for man pages. _subdir contains the list (in search order) of section subdirectories which will be searched in any man path directory named with a trail- ing slash (``/'') character. This list is also used, even if there is no trailing slash character, when a path is specified to the man(1) utility by the user, by the MANPATH environment variable, or by the -M and -m options. _suffix identifies the set of suffixes used for formatted man pages (the ``.0'' suffix is normally used here). Formatted man pages can be directly displayed to the user. Each suffix may contain the normal shell globbing characters (NOT including curly braces (``{}'')). _version contains the version of the configuration file. _whatdb defines the full pathname (not just a directory path) for a database to be used by the apropos(1) and whatis(1) commands. The pathname may contain the normal shell globbing characters, including curly braces (``{}''); to escape a shell globbing character, precede it with a backslash (``''). Section configuration lines in man.conf consist of a section keyword naming the section and a configuration string that defines the directory or subdirectory path that the section's manual pages are located in. The path may contain the normal shell globbing characters, including curly braces (``{}''); to escape a shell globbing character, precede it with a backslash (``''). Section keywords must not start with the ``_'' character. A section path may contain either a list of absolute directories or a list of or relative directories (but not both). Relative directory paths are treated as a list of subdirectories that are appended to the current man path directory being searched. Section configuration lines with absolute directory paths (starting with ``/'') completely replace the current man search path directory with their content. Section configuration lines with absolute directory paths ending with a trailing slash character are expected to contain subdirectories of manual pages, (see the keyword ``_subdir'' above). The ``_subdir'' subdirectory list is not applied to absolute section directories if there is no trailing slash. In addition to the above rules, the man(1) command also always checks in each directory that it searches for a subdirectory with the same name as the current machine type. If the machine-specific directory is found, it is also searched. This allows the manual to contain machine-specific man pages. Note that the machine subdirectory does not need to be specified in the man.conf file. Multiple specifications for all types of man.conf configuration lines are cumulative and the entries are used in the order listed in the file; multiple entries may be listed per line, as well. FILES
/etc/man.conf Standard manual configuration file. EXAMPLES
Given the following man.conf file: _version BSD.2 _subdir cat[123] _suffix .0 _build .[1-9] nroff -man %s _build .tbl tbl %s | nroff -man _default /usr/share/man/ sect3 /usr/share/man/{old/,}cat3 By default, the command ``man mktemp'' will search for ``mktemp.<any_digit>'' and ``mktemp.tbl'' in the directories ``/usr/share/man/cat1'', ``/usr/share/man/cat2'', and ``/usr/share/man/cat3''. If on a machine of type ``vax'', the subdirectory ``vax'' in each directory would be searched as well, before the directory was searched. If ``mktemp.tbl'' was found first, the command ``tbl <manual page> | nroff -man'' would be run to build a man page for display to the user. The command ``man sect3 mktemp'' would search the directories ``/usr/share/man/old/cat3'' and ``/usr/share/man/cat3'', in that order, for the mktemp manual page. If a subdirectory with the same name as the current machine type existed in any of them, it would be searched as well, before each of them were searched. SEE ALSO
apropos(1), machine(1), man(1), whatis(1), whereis(1), fnmatch(3), glob(3), catman(8), makewhatis(8) BSD
December 27, 2011 BSD

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