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MAN(1P)			   POSIX Programmer's Manual		       MAN(1P)

       This  manual  page is part of the POSIX Programmer's Manual.  The Linux
       implementation of this interface may differ (consult the	 corresponding
       Linux  manual page for details of Linux behavior), or the interface may
       not be implemented on Linux.

       man — display system documentation

       man [−k] name...

       The man utility shall write information about each of  the  name	 oper‐
       ands. If name is the name of a standard utility, man at a minimum shall
       write a message describing the syntax used by the standard utility, its
       options,	 and operands. If more information is available, the man util‐
       ity shall provide it in an implementation-defined manner.

       An implementation may provide information for values of name other than
       the  standard utilities. Standard utilities that are listed as optional
       and that are not supported by the implementation either shall  cause  a
       brief  message  indicating  that	 fact to be displayed or shall cause a
       full display of information as described previously.

       The man utility	shall  conform	to  the	 Base  Definitions  volume  of
       POSIX.1‐2008, Section 12.2, Utility Syntax Guidelines.

       The following option shall be supported:

       −k      Interpret  name	operands as keywords to be used in searching a
	       utilities summary database that contains a brief purpose	 entry
	       for  each  standard  utility  and  write lines from the summary
	       database that match any of the  keywords.  The  keyword	search
	       shall  produce results that are the equivalent of the output of
	       the following command:

		   grep −Ei '
		   ' summary-database

	       This assumes that the summary-database is a text	 file  with  a
	       single  entry  per  line; this organization is not required and
	       the example using grep −Ei is merely illustrative of  the  type
	       of  search  intended.  The  purpose entry to be included in the
	       database shall consist of a terse description of the purpose of
	       the utility.

       The following operand shall be supported:

       name	 A  keyword  or the name of a standard utility. When −k is not
		 specified and name does not represent	one  of	 the  standard
		 utilities, the results are unspecified.

       Not used.


       The following environment variables shall affect the execution of man:

       LANG	 Provide  a  default  value for the internationalization vari‐
		 ables that are unset or null. (See the Base Definitions  vol‐
		 ume  of POSIX.1‐2008, Section 8.2, Internationalization Vari‐
		 ables for the precedence  of  internationalization  variables
		 used to determine the values of locale categories.)

       LC_ALL	 If  set  to  a non-empty string value, override the values of
		 all the other internationalization variables.

       LC_CTYPE	 Determine the locale for the interpretation of	 sequences  of
		 bytes of text data as characters (for example, single-byte as
		 opposed to multi-byte characters in arguments and in the sum‐
		 mary  database).  The	value  of LC_CTYPE need not affect the
		 format of the information written about the name operands.

		 Determine the locale that should be used to affect the format
		 and contents of diagnostic messages written to standard error
		 and informative messages written to standard output.

       NLSPATH	 Determine the location of message catalogs for the processing

       PAGER	 Determine  an output filtering command for writing the output
		 to a terminal. Any string acceptable as a command_string  op‐
		 erand to the sh −c command shall be valid. When standard out‐
		 put is a terminal device, the reference page output shall  be
		 piped	through	 the command. If the PAGER variable is null or
		 not set, the command shall be either more or another  pagina‐
		 tor utility documented in the system documentation.


       The  man	 utility shall write text describing the syntax of the utility
       name, its options and its operands, or, when  −k	 is  specified,	 lines
       from  the  summary database. The format of this text is implementation-

       The standard error shall be used for diagnostic messages, and may  also
       be used for informational messages of unspecified format.



       The following exit values shall be returned:

	0    Successful completion.

       >0    An error occurred.


       The following sections are informative.



       It  is recognized that the man utility is only of minimal usefulness as
       specified. The opinion of the standard developers was strongly  divided
       as to how much or how little information man should be required to pro‐
       vide. They considered, however, that the provision of some portable way
       of  accessing  documentation  would aid user portability. The arguments
       against a fuller specification were:

	*  Large quantities of documentation should not be required on a  sys‐
	   tem that does not have excess disk space.

	*  The	current manual system does not present information in a manner
	   that greatly aids user portability.

	*  A ``better help system'' is currently an area in which vendors feel
	   that they can add value to their POSIX implementations.

       The −f option was considered, but due to implementation differences, it
       was not included in this volume of POSIX.1‐2008.

       The description was changed to be more specific about what  has	to  be
       displayed for a utility. The standard developers considered it insuffi‐
       cient to allow a display of only the synopsis without  giving  a	 short
       description of what each option and operand does.

       The  ``purpose'' entry to be included in the database can be similar to
       the section title  (less	 the  numeric  prefix)	from  this  volume  of
       POSIX.1‐2008  for each utility.	These titles are similar to those used
       in historical systems for this purpose.

       See mailx for rationale concerning the default paginator.

       The caveat in the LC_CTYPE description was added because it  is	not  a
       requirement  that  an implementation provide reference pages for all of
       its supported locales on each system; changing LC_CTYPE does not neces‐
       sarily  translate  the  reference  page	into another language. This is
       equivalent to the current state of LC_MESSAGES in  POSIX.1‐2008—locale-
       specific messages are not yet a requirement.

       The  historical	MANPATH	 variable  is not included in POSIX because no
       attempt is made to specify naming conventions for reference page files,
       nor even to mandate that they are files at all. On some implementations
       they could be a true database, a hypertext file, or even fixed  strings
       within  the  man	 executable.  The  standard  developers considered the
       portability of reference pages to be outside their scope of work.  How‐
       ever,  users should be aware that MANPATH is implemented on a number of
       historical systems and that it can be used to tailor the search pattern
       for  reference pages from the various categories (utilities, functions,
       file formats, and so on) when  the  system  administrator  reveals  the
       location and conventions for reference pages on the system.

       The  keyword search can rely on at least the text of the section titles
       from these utility descriptions, and the implementation	may  add  more
       keywords. The term ``section titles'' refers to the strings such as:

	   man — Display system documentation
	   ps — Report process status



       The  Base  Definitions  volume  of POSIX.1‐2008, Chapter 8, Environment
       Variables, Section 12.2, Utility Syntax Guidelines

       Portions of this text are reprinted and reproduced in  electronic  form
       from IEEE Std 1003.1, 2013 Edition, Standard for Information Technology
       -- Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX),	The  Open  Group  Base
       Specifications Issue 7, Copyright (C) 2013 by the Institute of Electri‐
       cal and Electronics Engineers,  Inc  and	 The  Open  Group.   (This  is
       POSIX.1-2008  with  the	2013  Technical Corrigendum 1 applied.) In the
       event of any discrepancy between this version and the original IEEE and
       The  Open Group Standard, the original IEEE and The Open Group Standard
       is the referee document. The original Standard can be  obtained	online
       at .

       Any  typographical  or  formatting  errors that appear in this page are
       most likely to have been introduced during the conversion of the source
       files  to  man page format. To report such errors, see https://www.ker‐ .

IEEE/The Open Group		     2013			       MAN(1P)

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