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           man  [-acdfFhkKtwW]  [--path]  [-m system] [-p string] [-C config_file]
           [-M pathlist] [-P pager] [-B browser] [-H htmlpager] [-S  section_list]
           [section] name ...


           man formats and displays the on-line manual pages.  If you specify sec-
           tion, man only looks in that section of the manual.  name  is  normally
           the  name of the manual page, which is typically the name of a command,
           function, or file.  However, if name contains  a  slash  (/)  then  man
           interprets  it  as a file specification, so that you can do man ./foo.5
           or even man /cd/foo/bar.1.gz.
           See below for a description of where man  looks  for  the  manual  page


           The standard sections of the manual include:
           1      User Commands
           2      System Calls
           3      C Library Functions
           4      Devices and Special Files
           5      File Formats and Conventions
           6      Games et. Al.
           7      Miscellanea
           8      System Administration tools and Deamons
           Distributions  customize  the  manual section to their specifics, which
           often include additional sections.


           -C  config_file
                  Specify   the   configuration   file  to  use;  the  default  is
                  /etc/man.config.  (See man.config(5).)
           -M  path
                  Specify the list of directories to search for man pages.   Sepa-
                  rate  the directories with colons.  An empty list is the same as
                  not specifying -M at all.  See SEARCH PATH FOR MANUAL PAGES.
           -P  pager
                  This option overrides the MANSECT environment variable.
           -a     By default, man will exit after displaying the first manual page
                  it finds.  Using this option forces man to display all the  man-
                  ual pages that match name, not just the first.
           -c     Reformat  the  source man page, even when an up-to-date cat page
                  exists.  This can be meaningful if the cat  page  was  formatted
                  for  a screen with a different number of columns, or if the pre-
                  formatted page is corrupted.
           -d     Don't actually display the man  pages,  but  do  print  gobs  of
                  debugging information.
           -D     Both display and print debugging info.
           -f     Equivalent to whatis.
           -F or --preformat
                  Format only - do not display.
           -h     Print a help message and exit.
           -k     Equivalent to apropos.
           -K     Search  for  the  specified  string in *all* man pages. Warning:
                  this is probably very slow!  It  helps  to  specify  a  section.
                  (Just  to  give  a  rough idea, on my machine this takes about a
                  minute per 500 man pages.)
           -m  system
                  Specify an alternate set of man pages to  search  based  on  the
                  system name given.
           -p  string
                  Specify  the  sequence  of  preprocessors to run before nroff or
                  troff.  Not all installations will have a full set of preproces-
                  sors.   Some of the preprocessors and the letters used to desig-
                  nate them are: eqn (e), grap (g), pic (p), tbl (t), vgrind  (v),
                  refer  (r).   This  option  overrides the MANROFFSEQ environment
           -t     Use /usr/bin/groff -Tps -mandoc to format the manual page, pass-
                  ing  the  output  to  stdout.   The  default  output  format  of
                  /usr/bin/groff -Tps -mandoc is Postscript, refer to  the  manual
                  page  of  /usr/bin/groff -Tps -mandoc for ways to pick an alter-
                  nate format.
           Depending on the selected  format  and  the  availability  of  printing
           devices,  the  output  may  need  to  be  passed through some filter or
           another before being printed.
           ting time the next time these pages are needed.  Traditionally, format-
           ted versions of pages in DIR/manX are saved in DIR/catX, but other map-
           pings  from man dir to cat dir can be specified in /etc/man.config.  No
           cat pages are saved when the required cat directory does not exist.  No
           cat pages are saved when they are formatted for a line length different
           from 80.  No cat pages are saved  when  man.config  contains  the  line
           It is possible to make man suid to a user man. Then, if a cat directory
           has owner man and mode 0755 (only writable by man), and the  cat  files
           have  owner  man  and  mode  0644 or 0444 (only writable by man, or not
           writable at all), no ordinary user can change  the  cat  pages  or  put
           other  files  in the cat directory. If man is not made suid, then a cat
           directory should have mode 0777 if all users should be  able  to  leave
           cat pages there.
           The  option  -c  forces  reformatting a page, even if a recent cat page


           Man will find HTML pages if they live in directories named as  expected
           to  be  ".html", thus a valid name for an HTML version of the ls(1) man
           page would be /usr/share/man/htmlman1/ls.1.html.


           man uses a sophisticated method of finding manual page files, based  on
           the  invocation  options and environment variables, the /etc/man.config
           configuration file, and some built in conventions and heuristics.
           First of all, when the name argument to man contains a slash  (/),  man
           assumes  it  is  a file specification itself, and there is no searching
           But in the normal case where name doesn't contain a slash, man searches
           a variety of directories for a file that could be a manual page for the
           topic named.
           If you specify the -M pathlist option, pathlist  is  a  colon-separated
           list of the directories that man searches.
           If  you  don't specify -M but set the MANPATH environment variable, the
           value of that  variable  is  the  list  of  the  directories  that  man
           If  you  don't  specify  an  explicit path list with -M or MANPATH, man
           develops its own path list based on the contents of  the  configuration
           file /etc/man.config.  The MANPATH statements in the configuration file
           identify particular directories to include in the search path.
           Furthermore, the MANPATH_MAP statements add to the search path  depend-
           You can disable the automatic "nearby" searches by  including  a  NOAU-
           TOPATH statement in /etc/man.config.
           In  each  directory in the search path as described above, man searches
           for a file named topic.section, with an optional suffix on the  section
           number  and  possibly  a compression suffix.  If it doesn't find such a
           file, it then looks in any subdirectories named manN or catN where N is
           the  manual section number.  If the file is in a catN subdirectory, man
           assumes it is a formatted manual page file (cat page).  Otherwise,  man
           assumes it is unformatted.  In either case, if the filename has a known
           compression suffix (like .gz), man assumes it is gzipped.
           If you want to see where (or if) man would find the manual page  for  a
           particular topic, use the --path (-w) option.


                  If  MANPATH is set, man uses it as the path to search for manual
                  page files.  It overrides the configuration file and  the  auto-
                  matic  search  path,  but  is  overridden  by  the -M invocation
                  option.  See SEARCH PATH FOR MANUAL PAGES.
           MANPL  If MANPL is set, its value is used as the display  page  length.
                  Otherwise, the entire man page will occupy one (long) page.
                  If  MANROFFSEQ is set, its value is used to determine the set of
                  preprocessors run before running nroff or  troff.   By  default,
                  pages are passed through the tbl preprocessor before nroff.
                  If  MANSECT  is set, its value is used to determine which manual
                  sections to search.
                  If MANWIDTH is set, its value is  used  as  the  width  manpages
                  should  be displayed.  Otherwise the pages may be displayed over
                  the whole width of your screen.
                  If MANPAGER is set, its value is used as the name of the program
                  to  use to display the man page.  If not, then PAGER is used. If
                  that has no value either, /usr/bin/less -is is used.
                  The name of a browser to use for displaying HTML  manual  pages.
                  If it is not set, /usr/bin/less -is is used.
                  The  command to use for rendering HTML manual pages as text.  If
           PATH   PATH helps determine the search path for manual page files.  See
           SYSTEM SYSTEM is used to get the default alternate system name (for use
                  with the -m option).


           The -t option only works if a troff-like program is installed.
           If you see blinking  \255  or  <AD>  instead  of  hyphens,  put  'LESS-
           CHARSET=latin1' in your environment.


           If you add the line
            (global-set-key  [(f1)]  (lambda  () (interactive) (manual-entry (cur-
           to your .emacs file, then hitting F1 will give you the man page for the
           library call at the current cursor position.
           To  get  a  plain  text  version  of a man page, without backspaces and
           underscores, try
             # man foo | col -b > foo.mantxt


           John W. Eaton was the  original  author  of  man.   Zeyd  M.  Ben-Halim
           released  man  1.2,  and  Andries Brouwer followed up with versions 1.3
           thru 1.5p.  Federico  Lucifredi  <>  is  the  current


           apropos(1), whatis(1), less(1), groff(1), man.config(5).
                                  September 19, 2005                        man(1)

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