display manual pages
man utility displays the manual page
entitled name. Pages may be selected according to a
specific category (section) or machine architecture
The options are as follows:
- Display all matching manual pages.
- Use the specified file instead of the default configuration file. This permits users to configure their own manual environment. See man.conf(5) for a description of the contents of this file.
- Copy the manual page to the standard output instead of using
less(1) to paginate it. This is done by default if the standard
output is not a terminal device.
-c, most terminal devices are unable to show the markup. To print the output of
manto the terminal with markup but without using a pager, pipe it to ul(1). To remove the markup, pipe the output to col(1)
- A synonym for whatis(1). It searches for name in manual page names and displays the header lines from all matching pages. The search is case insensitive and matches whole words only.
- Display only the SYNOPSIS lines of the requested manual pages. Implies
- A synonym for apropos(1). Instead of name, an expression can be provided using the syntax described in the apropos(1) manual. By default, it displays the header lines of all matching pages.
- A synonym for mandoc(1). The name arguments are
interpreted as filenames. No search is done and
section, subsection, and
-ware ignored. This option implies
- Override the list of directories to search for manual pages. The supplied
path must be a colon
:’) separated list of directories. This option also overrides the environment variable
MANPATHand any directories specified in the man.conf(5) file.
- Augment the list of directories to search for manual pages. The supplied
path must be a colon
:’) separated list of directories. These directories will be searched before those specified using the
MANPATHenvironment variable, the man.conf(5) file, or the default directories.
- Only show pages for the specified
machine(1) architecture. subsection is case
By default manual pages for all architectures are installed. Therefore this option can be used to view pages for one architecture whilst using another.
This option overrides the
- Only select manuals from the specified section. The
currently available sections are:
- General commands (tools and utilities).
- System calls and error numbers.
- Library functions.
- perl(1) programmer's reference guide.
- Device drivers.
- File formats.
- Miscellaneous information.
- System maintenance and operation commands.
- Kernel internals.
- List the pathnames of all matching manual pages instead of displaying any of them. If no name is given, list the directories that would be searched.
-IKOTW are also supported and
are documented in mandoc(1). The options
mutually exclusive and override each other.
The search starts with the
-m argument if
provided, then continues with the
-M argument, the
MANPATH variable, the
manpath entries in the
man.conf(5) file, or with
by default. Within each of these, directories are searched in the order
provided. Within each directory, the search proceeds according to the
following list of sections: 1, 8, 6, 2, 3, 5, 7, 4, 9, 3p. The first match
found is shown.
mandoc.db(5) database is used for looking up manual page entries. In
cases where the database is absent, outdated, or corrupt,
man falls back to looking for files called
name.section. If both a
formatted and an unformatted version of the same manual page, for example
cat1/foo.0 and man1/foo.1,
exist in the same directory, only the unformatted version is used. The
database is kept up to date with
makewhatis(8), which is run by the
weekly(8) maintenance script.
Guidelines for writing man pages can be found in mdoc(7).
- As some manual pages are intended only for specific architectures,
mansearches any subdirectories, with the same name as the current architecture, in every directory which it searches. Machine specific areas are checked before general areas. The current machine type may be overridden by setting the environment variable
MACHINEto the name of a specific architecture, or with the
MACHINEis case insensitive.
- Any non-empty value of the environment variable
MANPAGERis used instead of the standard pagination program, less(1). If less(1) is used, the interactive
:tcommand can be used to go to the definitions of various terms, for example command line options, command modifiers, internal commands, environment variables, function names, preprocessor macros, errno(2) values, and some other emphasized words. Some terms may have defining text at more than one place. In that case, the less(1) interactive commands
Tcan be used to move to the next and to the previous place providing information about the term last searched for with
tag[=term] option documented in the mandoc(1) manual opens a manual page at the definition of a specific term rather than at the beginning.
- Override the standard search path which is either specified in
man.conf(5) or the default path. The format of
MANPATHis a colon (‘
:’) separated list of directories. Invalid directories are ignored. Overridden by
-M, ignored if
MANPATHbegins with a colon, it is appended to the standard path; if it ends with a colon, it is prepended to the standard path; or if it contains two adjacent colons, the standard path is inserted between the colons.
- Specifies the pagination program to use when
MANPAGERis not defined. If neither PAGER nor MANPAGER is defined, less(1) is used.
man utility exits 0 on success,
and >0 if an error occurs. See
mandoc(1) for details.
Format a page for pasting extracts into an email message — avoid printing any UTF-8 characters, reduce the width to ease quoting in replies, and remove markup:
$ man -T ascii -O width=65 pledge | col -b
Read a typeset page in a PDF viewer:
$ MANPAGER=mupdf man -T pdf lpd
apropos(1), col(1), mandoc(1), ul(1), whereis(1), man.conf(5), mdoc(7)
man utility is compliant with the
IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 (“POSIX.1”)
The flags [
-aCcfhIKlMmOSsTWw], as well as
the environment variables
extensions to that specification.
man command first appeared in
Version 2 AT&T UNIX.
-w option first appeared in
Version 7 AT&T UNIX;
-m in 4.3BSD-Reno;
-h in 4.3BSD-Net/2;
-C in NetBSD 1.0;
OpenBSD 2.3; and
OpenBSD 5.7. The
first appeared in AT&T System III UNIX
and was also added in OpenBSD 5.7.