man

MAN(1)                     BSD General Commands Manual                    MAN(1)

NAME
     man — display manual pages

SYNOPSIS
     man [-acfhklw] [-C file] [-M path] [-m path] [-S subsection] [[-s] section]
         name ...

DESCRIPTION
     The man utility displays the manual page entitled name.  Pages may be
     selected according to a specific category (section) or machine architecture
     (subsection).

     The options are as follows:

     -a      Display all matching manual pages.

     -C file
             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.

     -c      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.

             When using -c, most terminal devices are unable to show the markup.
             To print the output of man to the terminal with markup but without
             using a pager, pipe it to ul(1).  To remove the markup, pipe the
             output to col(1) -b instead.

     -f      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.

     -h      Display only the SYNOPSIS lines of the requested manual pages.
             Implies -a and -c.

     -k      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.

     -l      A synonym for mandoc(1).  The name arguments are interpreted as
             filenames.  No search is done and file, path, section, subsection,
             and -w are ignored.  This option implies -a.

     -M path
             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 MANPATH and any
             directories specified in the man.conf(5) file.

     -m path
             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
             -M option, the MANPATH environment variable, the man.conf(5) file,
             or the default directories.

     -S subsection
             Only show pages for the specified machine(1) architecture.
             subsection is case insensitive.

             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 MACHINE environment variable.

     [-s] section
             Only select manuals from the specified section.  The currently
             available sections are:

                   1         General commands (tools and utilities).
                   2         System calls and error numbers.
                   3         Library functions.
                   3p        perl(1) programmer's reference guide.
                   4         Device drivers.
                   5         File formats.
                   6         Games.
                   7         Miscellaneous information.
                   8         System maintenance and operation commands.
                   9         Kernel internals.

     -w      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.

     The options -IKOTW are also supported and are documented in mandoc(1).  The
     options -fkl are 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 /usr/share/man:/usr/X11R6/man:/usr/local/man 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.

     The 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).

ENVIRONMENT
     MACHINE   As some manual pages are intended only for specific
               architectures, 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 by setting the
               environment variable MACHINE to the name of a specific
               architecture, or with the -S option.  MACHINE is case
               insensitive.

     MANPAGER  Any non-empty value of the environment variable MANPAGER is used
               instead of the standard pagination program, less(1).  If less(1)
               is used, the interactive :t command 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 t and T can be used to move to the next and to the
               previous place providing information about the term last searched
               for with :t.  The -O 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.

     MANPATH   Override the standard search path which is either specified in
               man.conf(5) or the default path.  The format of MANPATH is a
               colon (‘:’) separated list of directories.  Invalid directories
               are ignored.  Overridden by -M, ignored if -l is specified.

               If MANPATH begins 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.

     PAGER     Specifies the pagination program to use when MANPAGER is not
               defined.  If neither PAGER nor MANPAGER is defined, less(1) is
               used.

FILES
     /etc/man.conf  default man configuration file

EXIT STATUS
     The man utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.  See
     mandoc(1) for details.

EXAMPLES
     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

SEE ALSO
     apropos(1), col(1), mandoc(1), ul(1), whereis(1), man.conf(5), mdoc(7)

STANDARDS
     The man utility is compliant with the IEEE Std 1003.1-2008 (“POSIX.1”)
     specification.

     The flags [-aCcfhIKlMmOSsTWw], as well as the environment variables
     MACHINE, MANPAGER, and MANPATH, are extensions to that specification.

HISTORY
     A man command first appeared in Version 2 AT&T UNIX.

     The -w option first appeared in Version 7 AT&T UNIX; -f and -k in 4BSD; -M
     in 4.3BSD; -a in 4.3BSD-Tahoe; -c and -m in 4.3BSD-Reno; -h in 4.3BSD
     Net/2; -C in NetBSD 1.0; -s and -S in OpenBSD 2.3; and -I, -K, -l, -O, and
     -W in OpenBSD 5.7.  The -T option first appeared in AT&T System III UNIX
     and was also added in OpenBSD 5.7.

BSD                               July 20, 2020                              BSD