MAN(1) BSD General Commands Manual MAN(1)NAMEman — format and display the on-line manual pages
SYNOPSISman [-adfhkotw] [-m machine] [-p string] [-M path] [-P pager] [-S list]
[section] name ...
Man formats and displays the on-line manual pages. This version knows
about the MANPATH and PAGER environment variables, so you can have your
own set(s) of personal man pages and choose whatever program you like to
display the formatted pages. If section is specified, man only looks in
that section of the manual. You may also specify the order to search the
sections for entries and which preprocessors to run on the source files
via command line options or environment variables. If enabled by the
system administrator, formatted man pages will also be compressed with
the /usr/bin/gzip -c command to save space. If name contains a ‘/’, man
treats it as a file name.
The options are as follows:
-M path Specify an alternate manpath. By default, man uses
manpath(1) (which is built into the man binary) to determine
the path to search. This option overrides the MANPATH envi‐
-P pager Specify which pager to use. By default, man uses more -s.
This option overrides the PAGER environment variable.
-S list List is a colon separated list of manual sections to search.
The default is “1:8:2:3:4:5:6:7:9”. 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 manual pages that match name, not just the first.
-d Don't actually display the man pages, but do print gobs of
-f Equivalent to whatis.
-h Print a help message and exit.
-k Equivalent to apropos.
-m machine As some manual pages are intended only for specific architec‐
tures, man searches 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 using this
option or by setting the environment variable MACHINE to the
name of a specific architecture. This option overrides the
MACHINE environment variable.
-o Look for original, non-localized manpages only.
By default, man searches for a localized manpage in a set of
locale subdirectories of each manpath(1) component.
Locale name is taken from the first of three environment
variables with a nonempty value: LC_ALL, LC_CTYPE, or LANG,
in the specified order.
If the value could not be determined, or is not a valid
locale name, then only non-localized manpage will be looked
Otherwise, man will search in the following subdirectories,
in the order of precedence:
For example, for “de_DE.ISO8859-1” locale, man will search in
the following subdirectories of the /usr/share/man manpath
Finally, if the search of localized manpage fails, it will be
looked up in the default /usr/share/man directory.
-p string Specify the sequence of preprocessors to run before nroff or
troff. 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
-t Use /usr/bin/groff -S -man to format the manual page, passing
the output to stdout. The output from /usr/bin/groff -S -man
may need to be passed through some filter or another before
-w Don't actually display the man pages, but do print the loca‐
tion(s) of the files that would be formatted or displayed.
LC_ALL, LC_CTYPE, LANG
These variables specify the preferred language for manual
pages. (See the -o option above.)
MACHINE If MACHINE is set, its value is used to override the current
machine type when searching machine specific subdirectories.
MANPATH If MANPATH is set, its value is used as the path to search
for manual pages.
MANROFFSEQ If MANROFFSEQ is set, its value is used to determine the set
of preprocessors run before running nroff(1) or troff(1). By
default, pages are passed through the table preprocessor
MANSECT If MANSECT is set, its value is used to determine which man‐
ual sections to search.
PAGER If PAGER is set, its value is used as the name of the program
to use to display the man page. By default, more -s is used.
Normally, to look at the relevant manpage information for getopt, one
However, when referring to a specific section of the manual, such as
getopt(3), one would use:
man 3 getopt
SEE ALSOapropos(1), groff(1), manpath(1), more(1), whatis(1), man(7), mdoc(7)BUGS
The -t option only works if the troff(1)-like program is installed.
BSD August 21, 2008 BSD