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Manual Pages  — MAN

NAME

man – display online manual documentation pages

CONTENTS

SYNOPSIS


man [-adho] [-t | -w] [-M manpath] [-P pager] [-S mansect] [-m arch[:machine]] [-p [eprtv]] [mansect] page ...
man -f keyword ...
man -k keyword ...

DESCRIPTION

The man utility finds and displays online manual documentation pages. If mansect is provided, man restricts the search to the specific section of the manual.

The sections of the manual are:

  1. FreeBSD General Commands Manual
  2. FreeBSD System Calls Manual
  3. FreeBSD Library Functions Manual
  4. FreeBSD Kernel Interfaces Manual
  5. FreeBSD File Formats Manual
  6. FreeBSD Games Manual
  7. FreeBSD Miscellaneous Information Manual
  8. FreeBSD System Manager's Manual
  9. FreeBSD Kernel Developer's Manual

Options that man understands:
-M manpath
  Forces a specific colon separated manual path instead of the default search path. See manpath(1). Overrides the MANPATH environment variable.
-P pager
  Use specified pager. Defaults to "less -sR" if color support is enabled, or "more -s". Overrides the MANPAGER environment variable, which in turn overrides the PAGER environment variable.
-S mansect
  Restricts manual sections searched to the specified colon delimited list. Defaults to "1:8:2:3:n:4:5:6:7:9:l". Overrides the MANSECT environment variable.
-a
  Display all manual pages instead of just the first found for each page argument.
-d
  Print extra debugging information. Repeat for increased verbosity. Does not display the manual page.
-f
  Emulate whatis(1).
-h
  Display short help message and exit.
-k
  Emulate apropos(1).
-m arch[:machine]
  Override the default architecture and machine settings allowing lookup of other platform specific manual pages. See IMPLEMENTATION NOTES for how this option changes the default behavior. Overrides the MACHINE_ARCH and MACHINE environment variables.
-o
  Force use of non-localized manual pages. See IMPLEMENTATION NOTES for how locale specific searches work. Overrides the LC_ALL, LC_CTYPE, and LANG environment variables.
-p [ eprtv]
  Use the list of given preprocessors before running nroff(1) or troff(1). Valid preprocessors arguments:

e eqn(1)
p pic(1)
r refer(1)
t tbl(1)
v vgrind(1)

Overrides the MANROFFSEQ environment variable.
-t
  Send manual page source through troff(1) allowing transformation of the manual pages to other formats.
-w
  Display the location of the manual page instead of the contents of the manual page.

IMPLEMENTATION NOTES

Locale Specific Searches

The man utility supports manual pages in different locales. The search behavior is dictated by the first of three environment variables with a nonempty string: LC_ALL, LC_CTYPE, or LANG. If set, man will search for locale specific manual pages using the following logic:

lang_ country. charset
lang. charset
en. charset

For example, if LC_ALL is set to "ja_JP.eucJP", man will search the following paths when considering section 1 manual pages in /usr/share/man:

/usr/share/man/ja_JP.eucJP/man1
/usr/share/man/ja.eucJP/man1
/usr/share/man/en.eucJP/man1
/usr/share/man/man1

Platform Specific Searches

The man utility supports platform specific manual pages. The search behavior is dictated by the -m option or the MACHINE_ARCH and MACHINE environment variables. For example, if MACHINE_ARCH is set to "i386" and MACHINE is set to "pc98", man will search the following paths when considering section 4 manual pages in /usr/share/man:

/usr/share/man/man4/pc98
/usr/share/man/man4/i386
/usr/share/man/man4

Displaying Specific Manual Files

The man utility also supports displaying a specific manual page if passed a path to the file as long as it contains a ‘/’ character.

ENVIRONMENT

The following environment variables affect the execution of man:
LC_ALL, LC_CTYPE, LANG
  Used to find locale specific manual pages. Valid values can be found by running the locale(1) command. See IMPLEMENTATION NOTES for details. Influenced by the -o option.
MACHINE_ARCH, MACHINE
  Used to find platform specific manual pages. If unset, the output of "sysctl hw.machine_arch" and "sysctl hw.machine" is used respectively. See IMPLEMENTATION NOTES for details. Corresponds to the -m option.
MANPATH The standard search path used by man(1) may be changed by specifying a path in the MANPATH environment variable. Invalid paths, or paths without manual databases, are ignored. Overridden by -M. If MANPATH begins with a colon, it is appended to the default list; if it ends with a colon, it is prepended to the default list; or if it contains two adjacent colons, the standard search path is inserted between the colons. If none of these conditions are met, it overrides the standard search path.
MANROFFSEQ
  Used to determine the preprocessors for the manual source before running nroff(1) or troff(1). If unset, defaults to tbl(1). Corresponds to the -p option.
MANSECT Restricts manual sections searched to the specified colon delimited list. Corresponds to the -S option.
MANWIDTH If set to a numeric value, used as the width manpages should be displayed. Otherwise, if set to a special value "tty", and output is to a terminal, the pages may be displayed over the whole width of the screen.
MANCOLOR If set, enables color support.
MANPAGER Program used to display files.

If unset, and color support is enabled, "less -sR" is used.

If unset, and color support is disabled, then PAGER is used. If that has no value either, "more -s" is used.

FILES

/etc/man.conf
  System configuration file.
/usr/local/etc/man.d/*.conf
  Local configuration files.

EXIT STATUS

The utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.

SEE ALSO

apropos(1), intro(1), locale(1), manpath(1), nroff(1), troff(1), whatis(1), intro(2), intro(3), intro(4), intro(5), man.conf(5), intro(6), intro(7), intro(8), intro(9)

MAN (1) March 11, 2017

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Please direct any comments about this manual page service to Ben Bullock.