Manual

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About

Most UBOs have manual pages.

MAN(1)                     OpenBSD Reference Manual                     MAN(1)
NAME
    man - display the on-line manual pages
SYNOPSIS
    man [-achw] [-C file] [-M path] [-m path] [-S subsection] [-s section]
        [section] name [...]
    man -f command
    man -k keyword
DESCRIPTION

The types of manpages have sections which they are grouped in. Here is the manual page layout of BSD:

Section 1 
General commands (tools and utilities)
Section 2 
System calls and error numbers
Section 3 
Library functions, especially for C and Tk
Section 4  
Special files and hardware support
Section 5 
File formats, especially configuration files
Section 6 
Games
Section 7 
Miscellaneous information pages
Section 8 
System maintenance and operation commands
Section 9 
Kernel internals

When someone tells you to run "man 6 tetris", that means that you should read the tetris manpage found in section 6 of the manpages. Sometimes the same manpage name exists, but in different sections. One example is the fstat manpage it exists in sections 1 and 2. The lower number sections take precedence over higher numbered sections. Thus, to see the manpage for fstat in section 2 you would type:

$ man 2 fstat

Similarely functions, syscalls or commands are sometimes mentioned with the section of manpages in brackets behind them like so: fstat(2), you'll see this mentioned a lot in this wiki.

Simple example to type at your shell prompt of most UBOs:

$ man 1 intro

This brings up the man page for intro(1). You can use your spacebar to go down a page, and "q" for quit.

Installing manpages

On Debian based GNU/Linux:

$ sudo apt-get install manpages

Creating windex

If you're looking for a man page and get the following:

# man -k snoop
/usr/share/man/windex: No such file or directory

It means you have yet to create your Index:

# /usr/bin/catman -w 
#

Searching for Manual Pages

It is possible to do a keyword search in the manpage system.

$ man -k filesystem
OpenBSD::Vstat (3p) - virtual filesystem for pkg_add(1) simulations
dump (8) - filesystem backup
fstab (5) - static information about the filesystems
...

Another command synonymous to man -k is apropos:

$ apropos archiver
tar (1) - tape archiver

Do notice that the section of the manpage is displayed in the keyword search, this is to ease viewing the particular manpage.

$MANPATH is used, unless something else is explicitly specified.

Location of Manual Pages

In BSD the default manual pages are located in /usr/share/man. This can be changed with the MANPATH environment variable:

$ export MANPATH=/usr/local/man
$ man ls
man: no entry for ls in the manual. 
$ unset MANPATH
$ man ls
LS(1)                      OpenBSD Reference Manual                      LS(1)
...

Another manpage section can be added on to the current MANPATH:

$ export MANPATH=/usr/share/man:/usr/local/man


Searching in a man page

Often you will want to search a man page you are viewing for a particular keyword. You can preceed this search word with a "/". If I wanted to see what mediaopt(ions) my sis NIC has I could do

/mediaopt

while reading the sis(4) manpage I have on my system. If the first result is not what I want, I don't have to type the full search word after the first time, I can simply use

/

which is to "find another instance". This btw can also be achieved by typing "n" (lowercase) to search forward and "N" (uppercase) to search backwards, at least on FreeBSD.