configuration file for man
This is the configuration file for the man(1), apropos(1), and makewhatis(8) utilities. Its presence, and all directives, are optional.
This file is an ASCII text file. Leading whitespace on lines, lines starting with ‘#’, and blank lines are ignored. Words are separated by whitespace. The first word on each line is the name of a configuration directive.
The following directives are supported:
- Override the default search path for
makewhatis(8). It can be used multiple times to specify
multiple paths, with the order determining the manual page search order.
Each path is a tree containing subdirectories whose names consist of the strings ‘man’ and/or ‘cat’ followed by the names of sections, usually single digits. The former are supposed to contain unformatted manual pages in mdoc(7) and/or man(7) format; file names should end with the name of the section preceded by a dot. The latter should contain preformatted manual pages; file names should end with ‘
Creating a mandoc.db(5) database with makewhatis(8) in each directory configured with
manpathis recommended and necessary for apropos(1) to work, and also for man(1) on operating systems like OpenBSD that install each manual page with only one file name in the file system, even if it documents multiple utilities or functions.
- Configure the default value of an output option. These directives are
overridden by the
-Ocommand line options of the same names. For details, see the mandoc(1) manual.
option value used by
print only body
path to header files
path for Xr links
print table of contents
- This directive provides the same functionality as
manpath, but using a historic and misleading syntax. It is kept for backward compatibility for now, but will eventually be removed.
The following configuration file reproduces the defaults:
installing it is equivalent to not having a
file at all.
manpath /usr/share/man manpath /usr/X11R6/man manpath /usr/local/man
apropos(1), man(1), makewhatis(8)
A relatively complicated
format first appeared in 4.3BSD-Reno. For
OpenBSD 5.8, it was redesigned from scratch, aiming
Ingo Schwarze <firstname.lastname@example.org>