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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 extension] [--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,
       SEE ALSO.

       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	invocations.  In some cases it is advisable to illustrate sev-
       eral  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 suc-
	   cessive displays or skip any	of them.

       man -t alias | lpr -Pps
	   Format the manual page referenced by	`alias', usually a shell  man-
	   ual page, into the default troff or groff format and	pipe it	to the
	   printer named ps.  The default output for groff  is	usually	 Post-
	   Script.  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 redi-
	   rection is necessary	as the -T flag causes output to	be directed to
	   stdout  with	 no  pager.  The output	could be viewed	with a program
	   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, sec-
       tion 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	format with the	exception that
       any spaces used as part of an option's argument must be	escaped	 (pre-
       ceded by	a backslash).  man will	parse $MANOPT prior to parsing its own
       command 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 specified 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 data-

       If man cannot find a mandb initiated index database  for	 a  particular
       manual  page  hierarchy,	 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 information must be known  at  com-
       pile  time.   Also,  by	default, any cat pages produced	are compressed
       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 Hierar-
       chy 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 format:


       If  the	desired	page is	available in your locale, it will be displayed
       in lieu of the standard (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  message  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  coordi-
       nating such activity.

       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  per-
       formed  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.
       However,	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 data-
       base  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 preformatted `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  permissions),  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 environment variable was not set,  the  ini-
       tial  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

       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  for-
       matter  (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	 argu-
       ment, 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

       -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 man-
	      ual page,	if available. See whatis(1) for	details.

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

       -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	interpreted 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 loca-
	      tion(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	 loca-
	      tion(s)  of the cat files	that would be displayed.  If -w	and -W
	      are both specified, print	both separated 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 man-
	      conv(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 hier-

   Finding manual pages
       -L locale, --locale=locale
	      man will normally	determine your current locale by a call	to the
	      C	 function  setlocale(3)	which interrogates various environment
	      variables, possibly including $LC_MESSAGES and $LANG.  To	tempo-
	      rarily  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 oper-
	      ating system's manual pages, include the system name man in  the
	      argument string.	This option will override the $SYSTEM environ-
	      ment variable.

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

	      A	 path specified	as a manpath must be the root of a manual page
	      hierarchy	structured into	sections as described  in  the	man-db
	      manual  (under  "The manual page system").  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 accompany the Tcl package, into the main manual  page
	      hierarchy.  To get around	the problem 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,  sup-
	      plying  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

       -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 database 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 variable.

	      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  sur-
	      rounded  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 followed by further options for less.  By default
	      man sets the -ix8	options.

	      If you want to override  man's  prompt  string  processing  com-
	      pletely,	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	description  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  following  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 corrupt, you may need to view manual pages with  this

	      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 compatibility, 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 pre-
	      processors.   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 environ-
	      ment variable.  zsoelim is always	run as	the  very  first  pre-

       -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  sup-
	      press 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

	      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  sec-
	      tions  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 used.

	      If $MANLESS is set, man will not perform any of its  usual  pro-
	      cessing  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 unconditionally to
	      "my prompt string", set $MANLESS to `-Psmy prompt	string'.

	      If $BROWSER is set, its value is a colon-delimited list of  com-
	      mands,  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 argu-
	      ment 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, man-
	      ual 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 for-
	      matting 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.  How-
	      ever, 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  charac-

	      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	avail-
	      able).  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	 (

       Dec 23 1992: Rik	Faith ( applied bug fixes supplied by
       Willem Kasdorp (

       30th April 1994 - 23rd February 2000: Wilf. (
       has been	developing and maintaining this	package	with the help of a few
       dedicated people.

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

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

2.5.2				  2008-05-05				MAN(1)


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