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SuSE 11.3 - man page for man (suse section 1)

MAN(1)					Manual pager utils				   MAN(1)

       man - an interface to the on-line reference manuals

       man  [-c|-w|-tZ]  [-H[browser]] [-T[device]] [-X[dpi]] [-adhu7V] [-i|-I] [-m system[,...]]
       [-L locale] [-p string] [-C file] [-M path] [-P pager] [-r prompt] [-S  list]  [-e  exten-
       sion] [--warnings [warnings]] [[section] page ...] ...
       man  -l [-7] [-tZ] [-H[browser]] [-T[device]] [-X[dpi]] [-p string] [-P pager] [-r prompt]
       [--warnings[warnings]] file ...
       man -k [apropos options] regexp ...
       man -f [whatis options] page ...

       man is the system's manual pager. Each page argument given to man is normally the name  of
       a  program,  utility or function.  The manual page associated with each of these arguments
       is then found and displayed. A section, if provided, will direct man to look only in  that
       section	of the manual.	The default action is to search in all of the available sections,
       following a pre-defined order and to show only the first page found, even if  page  exists
       in several sections.

       The  table  below  shows  the section numbers of the manual followed by the types of pages
       they contain.

       0   Header files (usually found in /usr/include)
       1   Executable programs or shell commands
       2   System calls (functions provided by the kernel)
       3   Library calls (functions within program libraries)
       4   Special files (usually found in /dev)
       5   File formats and conventions eg /etc/passwd
       6   Games
       7   Miscellaneous (including macro  packages  and  conven-
	   tions), e.g. man(7), groff(7)
       8   System administration commands (usually only for root)
       9   Kernel routines [Non standard]

       A manual page consists of several sections.

       Conventional  section  names  include NAME, SYNOPSIS, CONFIGURATION, DESCRIPTION, OPTIONS,

       The  following  conventions  apply  to  the SYNOPSIS section and can be used as a guide in
       other sections.

       bold text	  type exactly as shown.
       italic text	  replace with appropriate argument.
       [-abc]		  any or all arguments within [ ] are optional.
       -a|-b		  options delimited by | cannot be used together.
       argument ...	  argument is repeatable.
       [expression] ...   entire expression within [ ] is repeatable.

       The command or function illustration is a pattern that should match all	possible  invoca-
       tions.	In  some  cases it is advisable to illustrate several exclusive invocations as is
       shown in the SYNOPSIS section of this manual page.

       man ls
	   Display the manual page for the item (program) ls.

       man -a intro
	   Display, in succession, all of the available intro manual pages contained  within  the
	   manual.  It is possible to quit between successive displays or skip any of them.

       man -t alias | lpr -Pps
	   Format  the	manual	page referenced by `alias', usually a shell manual page, into the
	   default troff or groff format and pipe it to the printer named ps.  The default output
	   for	groff  is  usually PostScript.	man --help should advise as to which processor is
	   bound to the -t option.

       man -l -Tdvi ./foo.1x.gz > ./foo.1x.dvi
	   This command will decompress and format the nroff source manual page ./foo.1x.gz  into
	   a  device  independent (dvi) file.  The redirection is necessary as the -T flag causes
	   output to be directed to stdout with no pager.  The output could be viewed with a pro-
	   gram such as xdvi or further processed into PostScript using a program such as dvips.

       man -k printf
	   Search  the short descriptions and manual page names for the keyword printf as regular
	   expression.	Print out any matches.	Equivalent to apropos -r printf.

       man -f smail
	   Lookup the manual pages referenced by smail and print out the  short  descriptions  of
	   any found.  Equivalent to whatis -r smail.

       Many  options are available to man in order to give as much flexibility as possible to the
       user.  Changes can be made to the search path, section order, output processor, and  other
       behaviours and operations detailed below.

       If  set, various environment variables are interrogated to determine the operation of man.
       It is possible to set the `catch all' variable $MANOPT to any string in command line  for-
       mat  with  the  exception  that	any  spaces  used as part of an option's argument must be
       escaped (preceded by a backslash).  man will parse $MANOPT prior to parsing its	own  com-
       mand  line.   Those  options  requiring an argument will be overridden by the same options
       found on the command line.  To reset all of the options set in $MANOPT, -D can  be  speci-
       fied  as  the  initial  command	line  option.	This will allow man to `forget' about the
       options specified in $MANOPT although they must still have been valid.

       The manual pager utilities packaged as man-db make extensive use of index database caches.
       These  caches  contain  information  such  as  where  each manual page can be found on the
       filesystem and what its whatis (short one line description of the man page) contains,  and
       allow  man  to  run  faster  than if it had to search the filesystem each time to find the
       appropriate manual page.  If requested using the -u  option,  man  will	ensure	that  the
       caches  remain  consistent,  which can obviate the need to manually run software to update
       traditional whatis text databases.

       If man cannot find a mandb initiated index database for a particular manual  page  hierar-
       chy,  it  will still search for the requested manual pages, although file globbing will be
       necessary to search within that hierarchy.  If whatis or apropos fails to find an index it
       will try to extract information from a traditional whatis database instead.

       These  utilities  support compressed source nroff files having, by default, the extensions
       of .Z, .z and .gz.  It is possible to deal with any compression extension, but this infor-
       mation  must  be known at compile time.	Also, by default, any cat pages produced are com-
       pressed using gzip.  Each  `global'  manual  page  hierarchy  such  as  /usr/share/man  or
       /usr/X11R6/man  may  have  any directory as its cat page hierarchy.  Traditionally the cat
       pages are stored under the same hierarchy as the man pages, but for reasons such as  those
       specified  in the File Hierarchy Standard (FHS), it may be better to store them elsewhere.
       For details on how to do this, please read manpath(5).  For details on  why  to	do  this,
       read the standard.

       International  support  is  available with this package.  Native language manual pages are
       accessible (if available on your system) via use of locale functions.   To  activate  such
       support,  it  is  necessary  to set either $LC_MESSAGES, $LANG or another system dependent
       environment variable to your language locale, usually specified in the POSIX 1003.1  based


       If the desired page is available in your locale, it will be displayed in lieu of the stan-
       dard (usually American English) page.

       Support for international message catalogues is also featured in this package and  can  be
       activated in the same way, again if available.  If you find that the manual pages and mes-
       sage catalogues supplied with this package are not available in your native  language  and
       you would like to supply them, please contact the maintainer who will be coordinating such

       For information regarding other features and extensions available with this manual  pager,
       please read the documents supplied with the package.

       man  will  search for the desired manual pages within the index database caches. If the -u
       option is given, a cache consistency check is performed to ensure the databases accurately
       reflect	the filesystem.  If this option is always given, it is not generally necessary to
       run mandb after the caches are initially created, unless a cache  becomes  corrupt.   How-
       ever, the cache consistency check can be slow on systems with many manual pages installed,
       so it is not performed by default, and system administrators may wish to run  mandb  every
       week  or  so  to keep the database caches fresh.  To forestall problems caused by outdated
       caches, man will fall back to file globbing if a cache lookup fails, just as it	would  if
       no cache was present.

       Once  a	manual page has been located, a check is performed to find out if a relative pre-
       formatted `cat' file already exists and is newer than the nroff file.  If it does and  is,
       this  preformatted  file is (usually) decompressed and then displayed, via use of a pager.
       The pager can be specified in a number of ways, or else will fall back  to  a  default  is
       used (see option -P for details).  If no cat is found or is older than the nroff file, the
       nroff is filtered through various programs and is shown immediately.

       If a cat file can be produced (a relative cat directory exists and has appropriate permis-
       sions), man will compress and store the cat file in the background.

       The  filters  are  deciphered by a number of means. Firstly, the command line option -p or
       the environment variable $MANROFFSEQ is interrogated. If -p was not used and the  environ-
       ment variable was not set, the initial line of the nroff file is parsed for a preprocessor
       string.	To contain a valid preprocessor string, the first line must resemble

       '\" <string>

       where string can be any combination of letters described by option -p below.

       If none of the above methods provide any filter information, a default set is used.

       A formatting pipeline is formed from the filters  and  the  primary  formatter  (nroff  or
       [tg]roff  with  -t)  and executed.  Alternatively, if an executable program mandb_nfmt (or
       mandb_tfmt with -t) exists in the man tree root, it is executed instead.  It  gets  passed
       the  manual source file, the preprocessor string, and optionally the device specified with
       -T or -E as arguments.

       Non argument options that are duplicated either on the command line, in $MANOPT, or  both,
       are not harmful.  For options that require an argument, each duplication will override the
       previous argument value.

   General options
       -C file, --config-file=file
	      Use this user configuration file rather than the default of ~/.manpath.

       -d, --debug
	      Print debugging information.

       -D, --default
	      This option is normally issued as the very first option and resets man's	behaviour
	      to  its  default.   Its  use  is	to  reset those options that may have been set in
	      $MANOPT.	Any options that follow -D will have their usual effect.

	      Enable warnings from groff.  This may be used  to  perform  sanity  checks  on  the
	      source  text of manual pages.  warnings is a comma-separated list of warning names;
	      if it is not supplied, the default is "mac".

   Main modes of operation
       -f, --whatis
	      Equivalent to whatis.  Display a short description from the manual page, if  avail-
	      able. See whatis(1) for details.

       -k, --apropos
	      Equivalent  to apropos.  Search the short manual page descriptions for keywords and
	      display any matches.  See apropos(1) for details.

       -l, --local-file
	      Activate `local' mode.  Format and display local manual files instead of	searching
	      through  the  system's manual collection.  Each manual page argument will be inter-
	      preted as an nroff source file in the correct format.  No cat file is produced.  If
	      '-'  is  listed as one of the arguments, input will be taken from stdin.	When this
	      option is not used, and man fails to find the page required, before displaying  the
	      error message, it attempts to act as if this option was supplied, using the name as
	      a filename and looking for an exact match.

       -w, --where, --location
	      Don't actually display the manual pages, but do print the location(s) of the source
	      nroff files that would be formatted.

       -W, --where-cat, --location-cat
	      Don't  actually  display	the manual pages, but do print the location(s) of the cat
	      files that would be displayed.  If -w and -W are both specified, print  both  sepa-
	      rated by a space.

       -c, --catman
	      This option is not for general use and should only be used by the catman program.

       -R encoding, --recode=encoding
	      Instead of formatting the manual page in the usual way, output its source converted
	      to the specified encoding.  If you already know the encoding of  the  source  file,
	      you  can	also use manconv(1) directly.  However, this option allows you to convert
	      several manual pages to a single encoding without having to  explicitly  state  the
	      encoding	of each, provided that they were already installed in a structure similar
	      to a manual page hierarchy.

   Finding manual pages
       -L locale, --locale=locale
	      man will normally determine your current locale by a call to the C function  setlo-
	      cale(3)  which  interrogates  various  environment  variables,  possibly	including
	      $LC_MESSAGES and $LANG.  To temporarily override the  determined	value,	use  this
	      option  to  supply  a  locale  string  directly to man.  Note that it will not take
	      effect until the search for pages actually begins.  Output such as the help message
	      will always be displayed in the initially determined locale.

       -m system[,...], --systems=system[,...]
	      If  this	system	has  access to other operating system's manual pages, they can be
	      accessed using this option.  To search for a manual page from NewOS's  manual  page
	      collection, use the option -m NewOS.

	      The  system  specified  can  be  a  combination of comma delimited operating system
	      names.  To include a search of the native operating system's manual pages,  include
	      the  system name man in the argument string.  This option will override the $SYSTEM
	      environment variable.

       -M path, --manpath=path
	      Specify an alternate manpath to use.  By default, man uses manpath derived code  to
	      determine the path to search.  This option overrides the $MANPATH environment vari-
	      able and causes option -m to be ignored.

	      A path specified as a manpath must be the root of a manual  page	hierarchy  struc-
	      tured  into sections as described in the man-db manual (under "The manual page sys-
	      tem").  To view manual pages outside such hierarchies, see the -l option.

       -S list, -s list, --sections=list
	      List is a colon- or comma-separated list of `order  specific'  manual  sections  to
	      search.  This option overrides the $MANSECT environment variable.  (The -s spelling
	      is for compatibility with System V.)

       -e sub-extension, --extension=sub-extension
	      Some systems incorporate large packages of manual pages, such as those that  accom-
	      pany the Tcl package, into the main manual page hierarchy.  To get around the prob-
	      lem of having two manual pages with the same name such as exit(3),  the  Tcl  pages
	      were usually all assigned to section l.  As this is unfortunate, it is now possible
	      to put the pages in the correct section, and to assign a	specific  `extension'  to
	      them,  in  this case, exit(3tcl).  Under normal operation, man will display exit(3)
	      in preference to exit(3tcl).  To negotiate this situation and to	avoid  having  to
	      know  which section the page you require resides in, it is now possible to give man
	      a sub-extension string indicating which package the page must belong to.	Using the
	      above example, supplying the option -e tcl to man will restrict the search to pages
	      having an extension of *tcl.

       -i, --ignore-case
	      Ignore case when searching for manual pages.  This is the default.

       -I, --match-case
	      Search for manual pages case-sensitively.

       -a, --all
	      By default, man will exit after displaying the most suitable manual page it  finds.
	      Using  this option forces man to display all the manual pages with names that match
	      the search criteria.

       -u, --update
	      This option causes man to perform an `inode level' consistency check on  its  data-
	      base  caches  to ensure that they are an accurate representation of the filesystem.
	      It will only have a useful effect if man is installed with the setuid bit set.

   Controlling formatted output
       -P pager, --pager=pager
	      Specify which output pager to use.  By default, man  uses  less  -s.   This  option
	      overrides  the  $MANPAGER  environment variable, which in turn overrides the $PAGER
	      environment variable.  It is not used in conjunction with -f or -k.

       -r prompt, --prompt=prompt
	      If a recent version of less is used as the pager,  man  will  attempt  to  set  its
	      prompt and some sensible options.  The default prompt looks like

	       Manual page name(sec) line x

	      where name denotes the manual page name, sec denotes the section it was found under
	      and x the current line number.  This is achieved by  using  the  $LESS  environment

	      Supplying  -r with a string will override this default.  The string may contain the
	      text $MAN_PN which will be expanded to the name of the current manual page and  its
	      section  name  surrounded  by  `(' and `)'.  The string used to produce the default
	      could be expressed as

	      \ Manual\ page\ \$MAN_PN\ ?ltline\ %lt?L/%L.:
	      byte\ %bB?s/%s..?\ (END):?pB %pB\\%..

	      It is broken into two lines here for the sake of readability only.  For its meaning
	      see  the	less(1)  manual page.  The prompt string is first evaluated by the shell.
	      All double quotes, back-quotes and backslashes in the prompt must be escaped  by	a
	      preceding  backslash.   The prompt string may end in an escaped $ which may be fol-
	      lowed by further options for less.  By default man sets the -ix8 options.

	      If you want to override man's prompt string processing completely, use the $MANLESS
	      environment variable described below.

       -7, --ascii
	      When  viewing a pure ascii(7) manual page on a 7 bit terminal or terminal emulator,
	      some characters may not display correctly when using the latin1(7) device  descrip-
	      tion with GNU nroff.  This option allows pure ascii manual pages to be displayed in
	      ascii with the latin1 device.  It will not translate any latin1 text.  The  follow-
	      ing  table shows the translations performed: some parts of it may only be displayed
	      properly when using GNU nroff's latin1(7) device.

	      Description	    Octal   latin1   ascii
	      continuation hyphen    255      -        -
	      bullet (middle dot)    267      o        o
	      acute accent	     264      '        '
	      multiplication sign    327      x        x

	      If the latin1 column displays correctly, your terminal may be  set  up  for  latin1
	      characters  and  this option is not necessary.  If the latin1 and ascii columns are
	      identical, you are reading this page using this option or man did not  format  this
	      page  using the latin1 device description.  If the latin1 column is missing or cor-
	      rupt, you may need to view manual pages with this option.

	      This option is ignored when using options -t, -H, -T, or -Z and may be useless  for
	      nroff other than GNU's.

       -E encoding, --encoding=encoding
	      Generate output for a character encoding other than the default.	For backward com-
	      patibility, encoding may be an nroff device such as ascii, latin1, or utf8 as  well
	      as a true character encoding such as UTF-8.

       -p string, --preprocessor=string
	      Specify  the sequence of preprocessors to run before nroff or troff/groff.  Not all
	      installations will have a full set of preprocessors.  Some of the preprocessors and
	      the letters used to designate them are: eqn (e), grap (g), pic (p), tbl (t), vgrind
	      (v), refer (r).  This option overrides the $MANROFFSEQ environment variable.  zsoe-
	      lim is always run as the very first preprocessor.

       -t, --troff
	      Use groff -mandoc to format the manual page to stdout.  This option is not required
	      in conjunction with -H, -T, or -Z.

       -T[device], --troff-device[=device]
	      This option is used to change groff (or possibly troff's) output to be suitable for
	      a  device  other	than  the  default.   It  implies  -t.	 Examples  (provided with
	      Groff-1.17) include dvi, latin1, ps, utf8, X75 and X100.

       -H[browser], --html[=browser]
	      This option will cause groff to produce HTML output, and will display  that  output
	      in  a  web  browser.   The  choice of browser is determined by the optional browser
	      argument if one is provided, by the $BROWSER environment variable, or by a compile-
	      time  default  if  that  is unset (usually lynx).  This option implies -t, and will
	      only work with GNU troff.

       -X[dpi], --gxditview[=dpi]
	      This option displays the output of groff in a graphical window using the	gxditview
	      program.	 The  dpi (dots per inch) may be 75, 75-12, 100, or 100-12, defaulting to
	      75; the -12 variants use a 12-point base font.  This option  implies  -T	with  the
	      X75, X75-12, X100, or X100-12 device respectively.

       -Z, --ditroff
	      groff  will  run troff and then use an appropriate post-processor to produce output
	      suitable for the chosen device.  If groff -mandoc is groff, this option  is  passed
	      to groff and will suppress the use of a post-processor.  It implies -t.

   Getting help
       -h, --help
	      Print a help message and exit.

       -V, --version
	      Display version information.

       0      Successful program execution.

       1      Usage, syntax or configuration file error.

       2      Operational error.

       3      A child process returned a non-zero exit status.

       16     At least one of the pages/files/keywords didn't exist or wasn't matched.

	      If $MANPATH is set, its value is used as the path to search for manual pages.

	      The  contents  of  $MANROFFOPT are added to the command line every time man invokes
	      the formatter (nroff, troff, or groff).

	      If $MANROFFSEQ is set, its value is used to determine the set of	preprocessors  to
	      pass each manual page through.  The default preprocessor list is system dependent.

	      If  $MANSECT is set, its value is a colon-delimited list of sections and it is used
	      to determine which manual sections to search and in what order.

	      If $MANPAGER or $PAGER is set ($MANPAGER is used in preference), its value is  used
	      as the name of the program used to display the manual page.  By default, less -s is

	      If $MANLESS is set, man will not perform any of its usual processing to  set  up	a
	      prompt  string  for  the less pager.  Instead, the value of $MANLESS will be copied
	      verbatim into $LESS.  For example, if you want to set the  prompt  string  uncondi-
	      tionally to "my prompt string", set $MANLESS to '-Psmy prompt string'.

	      If  $BROWSER is set, its value is a colon-delimited list of commands, each of which
	      in turn is used to try to start a web browser for man --html.  In each command,  %s
	      is  replaced by a filename containing the HTML output from groff, %% is replaced by
	      a single percent sign (%), and %c is replaced by a colon (:).

       SYSTEM If $SYSTEM is set, it will have the same effect as if it had been specified as  the
	      argument to the -m option.

       MANOPT If $MANOPT is set, it will be parsed prior to man's command line and is expected to
	      be in a similar format.  As all of the other man specific environment variables can
	      be expressed as command line options, and are thus candidates for being included in
	      $MANOPT it is expected that they will become obsolete.  N.B. All spaces that should
	      be interpreted as part of an option's argument must be escaped.

	      If  $MANWIDTH  is  set, its value is used as the line length for which manual pages
	      should be formatted.  If it is not set, manual pages will be formatted with a  line
	      length  appropriate  to  the  current terminal (using an ioctl(2) if available, the
	      value of $COLUMNS, or falling back to 80 characters if neither is available).   Cat
	      pages  will only be saved when the default formatting can be used, that is when the
	      terminal line length is between 66 and 80 characters.

	      Normally, when output is not being directed to a terminal (such as to a file  or	a
	      pipe),  formatting  characters  are  discarded to make it easier to read the result
	      without special tools.  However, if $MAN_KEEP_FORMATTING is set  to  any	non-empty
	      value,  these  formatting characters are retained.  This may be useful for wrappers
	      around man that can interpret formatting characters.

	      Depending on system and implementation, either or both of  $LANG	and  $LC_MESSAGES
	      will be interrogated for the current message locale.  man will display its messages
	      in that locale (if available).  See setlocale(3) for precise details.

	      man-db configuration file.

	      A global manual page hierarchy.

	      A traditional global index database cache.

	      An FHS compliant global index database cache.

       mandb(8), manpath(1), manpath(5), apropos(1),  whatis(1),  catman(8),  less(1),	nroff(1),
       troff(1),  groff(1),  zsoelim(1),  setlocale(3),  man(7),  ascii(7), latin1(7), the man-db
       package manual, FSSTND.

       1990, 1991 - Originally written by John W. Eaton (jwe@che.utexas.edu).

       Dec 23 1992: Rik Faith (faith@cs.unc.edu) applied bug fixes  supplied  by  Willem  Kasdorp

       30th  April 1994 - 23rd February 2000: Wilf. (G.Wilford@ee.surrey.ac.uk) has been develop-
       ing and maintaining this package with the help of a few dedicated people.

       30th October 1996 - 30th March 2001: Fabrizio Polacco <fpolacco@debian.org> maintained and
       enhanced this package for the Debian project, with the help of all the community.

       31st  March  2001  - present day: Colin Watson <cjwatson@debian.org> is now developing and
       maintaining man-db.

2.5.2					    2008-05-05					   MAN(1)

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