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NetBSD 6.1.5 - man page for man.conf (netbsd section 5)

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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 subdirecto-
     ries 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 con-
     sist of a configuration keyword followed by a configuration string.  There are two types of
     configuration 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 format 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 normal shell glob-
	       bing 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 trailing 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 vari-
	       able, 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 subdirecto-
     ries that are appended to the current man path directory being searched.  Section configura-
     tion lines with absolute directory paths (starting with ``/'') completely replace the cur-
     rent man search path directory with their content.

     Section configuration lines with absolute directory paths ending with a trailing slash char-
     acter 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 speci-
     fied 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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