MAN.CONF(5)               NetBSD File Formats Manual               MAN.CONF(5)

NAME
     man.conf -- configuration file for manual pages

DESCRIPTION
     The man.conf file contains the default configuration used by man(1),
     apropos(1), whatis(1), catman(8), and makewhatis(8) to find manual pages
     and information about manual pages (e.g. the whatis database).

     Manual pages are located by searching an ordered set of directories
     called the ``man path'' for a file that matches the name of the requested
     page.  Each directory in the search path usually has a set of subdirecto-
     ries in it (though this is not required).  When subdirectories are used,
     there are normally two subdirectories for each section of the manual.
     One subdirectory contains formatted copies of that section's manual pages
     that can be directly displayed to a terminal, while the other section
     subdirectory contains unformatted copies of the pages (see nroff(1) and
     mdoc(7)).  Formatted manual pages are normally named with a trailing
     ``.0'' suffix.

     The man.conf file contains comment and configuration lines.  Comment
     lines start with the ``#'' character.  Blank lines are also treated as
     comment lines.  Configuration lines consist of a configuration keyword
     followed by a configuration string.  There are two types of configuration
     keywords: control keywords and section keywords.  Control keywords must
     start with the ``_'' character.  The following control keywords are cur-
     rently defined:

     _build    identifies the set of suffixes used for manual pages that must
               be formatted for display and the command that should be used to
               format them.  Manual file names, regardless of their format,
               are expected to end in a ``.*'' pattern, i.e. a ``.'' followed
               by some suffix.  The first field of a _build line contains a
               man page suffix specification.  The suffix specification may
               contain the normal shell globbing characters (NOT including
               curly braces (``{}'')).  The rest of the _build line is a shell
               command line whose standard output is a formatted manual page
               that can be directly displayed to the user.  There should be
               exactly one occurrence of the string ``%s'' in the shell com-
               mand line, and it will be replaced by the name of the file
               which is being formatted.

     _crunch   used by catman(8) to determine how to crunch formatted pages
               which originally were compressed man pages: The first field
               lists a suffix which indicates what kind of compression were
               used to compress the man page.  The rest of the line must be a
               shell command line, used to compress the formatted pages.
               There should be exactly one occurrence of the string ``%s'' in
               the shell command line, and it will be replaced by the name of
               the output file.

     _default  contains the system-wide default man path used to search for
               man pages.

     _subdir   contains the list (in search order) of section subdirectories
               which will be searched in any man path directory named with a
               trailing slash (``/'') character.  This list is also used, even
               if there is no trailing slash character, when a path is speci-
               fied to the man(1) utility by the user, by the MANPATH environ-
               ment variable, or by the -M and -m options.

     _suffix   identifies the set of suffixes used for formatted man pages
               (the ``.0'' suffix is normally used here).  Formatted man pages
               can be directly displayed to the user.  Each suffix may contain
               the normal shell globbing characters (NOT including curly
               braces (``{}'')).

     _version  contains the version of the configuration file.

     _whatdb   defines the full pathname (not just a directory path) for a
               database to be used by the apropos(1) and whatis(1) commands.
               The pathname may contain the normal shell globbing characters,
               including curly braces (``{}''); to escape a shell globbing
               character, precede it with a backslash (``\'').

     Section configuration lines in man.conf consist of a section keyword nam-
     ing the section and a configuration string that defines the directory or
     subdirectory path that the section's manual pages are located in.  The
     path may contain the normal shell globbing characters, including curly
     braces (``{}''); to escape a shell globbing character, precede it with a
     backslash (``\'').  Section keywords must not start with the ``_'' char-
     acter.

     A section path may contain either a list of absolute directories or a
     list of or relative directories (but not both).  Relative directory paths
     are treated as a list of subdirectories that are appended to the current
     man path directory being searched.  Section configuration lines with
     absolute directory paths (starting with ``/'') completely replace the
     current man search path directory with their content.

     Section configuration lines with absolute directory paths ending with a
     trailing slash character are expected to contain subdirectories of manual
     pages, (see the keyword ``_subdir'' above).  The ``_subdir'' subdirectory
     list is not applied to absolute section directories if there is no trail-
     ing slash.

     In addition to the above rules, the man(1) command also always checks in
     each directory that it searches for a subdirectory with the same name as
     the current machine type.  If the machine-specific directory is found, it
     is also searched.  This allows the manual to contain machine-specific man
     pages.  Note that the machine subdirectory does not need to be specified
     in the man.conf file.

     Multiple specifications for all types of man.conf configuration lines are
     cumulative and the entries are used in the order listed in the file; mul-
     tiple entries may be listed per line, as well.

FILES
     /etc/man.conf  Standard manual configuration file.

EXAMPLES
     Given the following man.conf file:

           _version        BSD.2
           _subdir         cat[123]
           _suffix         .0
           _build          .[1-9]  nroff -man %s
           _build          .tbl    tbl %s | nroff -man
           _default        /usr/share/man/
           sect3           /usr/share/man/{old/,}cat3

     By default, the command ``man mktemp'' will search for
     ``mktemp.<any_digit>'' and ``mktemp.tbl'' in the directories
     ``/usr/share/man/cat1'', ``/usr/share/man/cat2'', and
     ``/usr/share/man/cat3''.  If on a machine of type ``vax'', the subdirec-
     tory ``vax'' in each directory would be searched as well, before the
     directory was searched.

     If ``mktemp.tbl'' was found first, the command ``tbl <manual page> |
     nroff -man'' would be run to build a man page for display to the user.

     The command ``man sect3 mktemp'' would search the directories
     ``/usr/share/man/old/cat3'' and ``/usr/share/man/cat3'', in that order,
     for the mktemp manual page.  If a subdirectory with the same name as the
     current machine type existed in any of them, it would be searched as
     well, before each of them were searched.

SEE ALSO
     apropos(1), machine(1), man(1), whatis(1), whereis(1), fnmatch(3),
     glob(3), catman(8), makewhatis(8)

NetBSD 6.0.1                   December 27, 2011                  NetBSD 6.0.1

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©1994 Man-cgi 1.15, Panagiotis Christias <christia@softlab.ntua.gr>
©1996-2014 Modified for NetBSD by Kimmo Suominen