Chapter 13. Manual Pages

Table of Contents
13.1. Introduction
13.2. Sections
13.3. Markup
13.4. Sample Manual Page Structures
13.5. Example Manual Pages to Use as Templates
13.6. Resources

13.1. Introduction

Manual pages, commonly shortened to man pages, were conceived as readily-available reminders for command syntax, device driver details, or configuration file formats. They have become an extremely valuable quick-reference from the command line for users, system administrators, and programmers.

Although intended as reference material rather than tutorials, the EXAMPLES sections of manual pages often provide detailed use case.

Manual pages are generally shown interactively by the man(1) command. When the user types man ls, a search is performed for a manual page matching ls. The first matching result is displayed.

All FreeBSD documents are available for download at

Questions that are not answered by the documentation may be sent to <>.
Send questions about this document to <>.